Mass tourism is causing pollution problems in Mazatlán, triggering calls for a greater focus on sustainable tourism in the Pacific coast resort city.
Some 677,000 tourists are expected to visit the Sinaloa beach destination during the summer vacation period of July and August, according to the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, which also reported that 800,000 visitors flocked to the city in Holy Week, a figure that easily exceeds Mazatlán’s population of approximately 500,000. In addition, Mazatlan is expected to see three times as many cruise ships visit this year than in 2021.
Mayor Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres acknowledged last week that Mazatlán is swamped with tourists, but asserted that is a good thing given the benefits tourism brings to the local economy.
“In Mazatlán there are vacations practically the whole year. … You have to line up for about two hours to enjoy breakfast in a restaurant because fortunately everything is saturated,” he said last Tuesday.
Blanca Roldán, a Mazatlán-based academic who specializes in issues related to the environment and development, agreed that tourism is good for Mazatlán from an economic standpoint, but highlighted that the massive influx of visitors also has negative consequences.
“The contamination problem is undoubtedly increasing,” she told El Sol de Mazatlán. Roldán said that the accumulation of waste, as well as noise and visual pollution, are tourism-related problems in the city known as the “Pearl of the Pacific.”
“The most common [form of pollution], or that which citizens notice the most, is that generated by trash, especially on the coast and in public places,” she said.
Roldán said that nightclubs and bars as well as public transport and tourism-related construction projects all contribute to noise pollution in Mazatlán, while construction projects also cause visual pollution.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Mexico News Daily.