Tourism and Biodiversity in the Coast of Oaxaca Oaxaca

webinar tourism strategies kuxatur oaxaca coast
viviana vasque duque
Viviana Vasquez

This past October 24, 2023 became a memorable day for the Oaxaca Coast and its continuing journey towards sustainability. We were honored to be part of a project that culminated in an exciting webinar entitled "Training Strategy on Tourism and Biodiversity in the Coast of Oaxaca". in alliance with SECTUR, WWF, Costa Magia, the Puerto Escondido Hotel Association, Sustentur and La Mano del Mono within the framework of the Kuntur Project.

In this fascinating virtual encounter, we met with an audience passionate about two fundamental pillars: biodiversity and tourism. Together, we shed light on a training strategy that came to life as part of the Kuxatur Project, and what became clear is that these two vital sectors, Tourism and Biodiversity, are intrinsically intertwined, their sustainable coexistence being essential for the future of the coast.

The Co-design of the Tourism and Biodiversity Training Strategy of the Kuxatur Project with the support of GEF (Global Environmental Facilities). has been a long and significant journey that began in 2022 and has been extended to this year. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) and the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR). WWF Mexico, sought to address the challenges of integrating biodiversity into tourism on the coast of Oaxaca, in strategic collaboration with Sustentur y La Mano del Mono. However, as we well know, sustainability is not just about institutions, but about all stakeholders, from the hotel association in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, as well as tour operators and local communities that were part of this process.

During the webinar, we had the privilege of listening to key voices who played a fundamental role in the development of this strategy and who will continue to be pillars in its implementation. We were joined by prominent figures, from the engineer Marco Antonio Espinosa Magaña, General Director of Tourism Sustainability of Sector, Elego López Peña, Coordinator of the Kuxatur Project in Oaxaca on behalf of WWF, Mauricio Martínez Miramontes, Coordinator of Alliances of La Mano del Mono, Vicente Ferreira Costa, General Director of Sustentur, Lizeth Rojas, Lizeth Rojas, General Director of Sustentur, Elego López Peña, Coordinator of the Kuxatur Project in Oaxaca on behalf of WWF, Vicente Ferreira Costa, General Director of Sustentur, Lizeth Rojas, President of the Hotel Association of Puerto Escondido and Irvin Barrera Miranda, Coordinator of Costa Magia in Oaxaca, where each shared their perspective on the results of the process of integrating biodiversity into tourism business models on the coast of Oaxaca. 

One of the central themes during the meeting was the training of tourism service providers in the adoption of biodiversity conservation criteria. In particular, this project focused on the Chacahua - Huatulco Corridor, a region of incredible natural wealth. Collaboration between various stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental organizations, was essential to ensure that tourism and biodiversity not only coexist, but thrive in balance.

On the other hand, the capacity building strategy was a fundamental pillar for the success of this project. It was not only about technical training, but also about cultivating soft skills, such as teamwork and leadership. These were the elements that truly allow our vision of sustainable tourism in Oaxaca to become a reality.

Strengthening Capacities for a Sustainable Future

The alliance between SECTUR, WWF, Sustentur and La Mano del Mono has woven a strategy with an eye on the future, with a plan that extends to the second quarter of 2026. During this process, we have brought to life implementation manuals, communication tools, infographics and a best practices platform for tourism and biodiversity to drive sustainable practices. The goal? To strengthen not only the relationship between the private and community sectors, but also to foster sustainable tourism development along the entire Oaxacan coast.

The approach was not limited to the technical; we addressed every aspect of the process. From a diagnosis that allowed us to understand the needs of both the community and private sectors, to strengthening issues such as marketing, dissemination of best practices and specific training in key skills, such as teamwork and leadership.

On the other hand, we had the opportunity to design a capacity building plan with all key stakeholders in mind. From the conventional private sector, which includes hotels, restaurants, operators and real estate developers, to the community sector, both nautical and terrestrial. An inclusive and comprehensive approach, with courses varying in length, from 8 to 16 hours, divided into modules and lessons, identifying evaluation criteria and promoting coordination to achieve our objectives.

What we have achieved together is more than a strategy; it is a hymn to biodiversity conservation, a symphony that strengthens relationships among all stakeholders and guides us toward a future in which tourism and biodiversity not only coexist, but thrive. This is a journey that has just begun, and we are excited about what the future holds for this exciting sustainable tourism initiative on the coast of Oaxaca.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to the local communities, WWF, Sustentur, UNDP and Sectur for believing in these alliances. At La Mano del Mono, we are committed to promoting sustainable and biodiversity-friendly tourism. The beautiful coast of Oaxaca and other similar destinations deserve a future in which natural beauty and tourism thrive in perfect harmony.

Find out more in the recording of the event: