Baja’s Eco Tourism a win-win for conservation and economy
Article by Carlos Perez, Marine Biologist and Guide at Cabo Trek
Over the past two decades, ecotourism has been valued as a fast-growing industry worldwide, observing this phenomenon in regions and entities with natural resources at hand, for controlled exposure to the general public in a low invasive manner. In addition to offering a recreational alternative to those who practice it and direct and indirect benefits to the communities where they are located, it fosters and creates social and economic incentives through its conservation. If we focus this type of tourism to the marine environment, several reports cite a spill of up to $50 billion in expenses, including activities such as diving, shark, whale and bird watching, as well as tours on kayaks, paddle and sport fishing in its capture and release modality.
In particular, whale watching in Baja California Sur has become a strong tourist product; the increase of national and foreign visitors, in addition to local families, who during the sighting season travel to various sites of this state to enjoy this natural spectacle, generates an important economic spill to these localities. Furthermore, some of these activities are tied with educational and research programs with several governmental and private institutions, in order to conduct data gathering and publish research results; playing a bridge role between scientific findings and dissemination of knowledge towards the general public.
Mexico lodges transiently or with established populations about 40% of the known species of cetaceans in the world; and the registration in our state of them, is approximately 30%. From this total, some of the most emblematic species are grey and humpback whales; every year, they migrate to Californian seas and low coasts for reproductive and birthing purposes. Some sites considered sanctuaries for these animals are Guerrero Negro and the San Ignacio Lagoon; both belonging to the Vizcaíno biosphere reserve; Puerto San Carlos in Magdalena Bay and the protected area of flora and fauna of Cabo San Lucas in Los Cabos municipality.
So if you find yourself close to these places and you are interested in witnessing an impressive natural show, do not hesitate and schedule a tour with one of the local operators in the area; just make sure it meets the legal requirements and licenses for this type of activity. In addition to witnessing the majesty of these giants, you will surely take back with you a great experience and a little knowledge about the subject, go ahead, dare and live it!
Cabo Trek focus is on educational tours in Baja California Sur region, please check out our other activities: