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Tourism Supports the MesoAmerican Reef and Surrounding Communities

  • MesoAmerican Reef
    The tropical climate and white sand beaches along the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have given rise to a tourism industry that draws millions of visitors each year.
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  • Cruise Ships Passengers Sunbathing On Magens Bay In Saint Thomas
    A steady flow of tourists and migrant workers seeking employment has put significant pressure on the fragile MesoAmerican Reef — the longest reef in the Western Hemisphere.
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  • Fishing Net in MARTI
    A group of representatives from local NGOs, businesses and the state government established the MesoAmerican Reef Tourism Initiative, MARTI, in 2006 to protect the threatened reef and the interests of the two million people who rely on the it for their income, cultural identity and livelihoods.
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  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle in MAR Region
    Now in its 10th year, MARTI is a good example of the potential of a collaborative approach to destination stewardship.
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  • Caribbean Resort Hotel
    Sustainable Travel International serves as the secretariat for MARTI, facilitating continued partner development and funding for the initiative. Additionally, we are helping communities in the Riviera Maya develop projects that will help improve the overall sustainability of tourism in the region.
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  • Amigos de Sian Ka'an
    Local NGO Amigos de Sian Ka’an, a MARTI member, has pushed through local zoning plans to help protect fragile ecosystems while limiting over-development from tourism.
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  • MARTI waste management
    Waste management is a growing concern in the MARTI region. The Coral Reef Alliance is working on improving Roatan’s connection to municipal water and sewer systems.
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