Tourism As A Development Strategy In The — страница 6

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the scene of endless conflicting cultures and politics. After Independence, years of instability and with the economy in serious decline, the oppressed fought back. The Mexican Revolution (1910-1917), marked the end of dictatorship and established the base for the new political and economic progress to come. This new era saw land reform, peasants active in the political system for the first time and unprecedented economic growth and modernisation. The `Mexican Miracle’ of 1930-1965 saw Mexico’s agriculture rise by 5 % per year (Townsend, 1992, p. 9), development of its oil resources to its rise as an NIC, to the importance of manufacturing exports and now services replacing agriculture as the main form of employment, the changes shaped by policies designed to protect Mexico

from the US. Economic problems culminated (a slip in oil prices, devaluation of the peso and stagnation of foreign capital, Barry, 1992, p. 76) and after the debt crisis in 1982, the need for reform was obvious. Rapid economic recovery took place in the late 1980’s, as import substitution, which was successful between 1940 and 1970, was increasingly replaced by export orientated development, as policies attempted to take Mexico into the world economy, particularly into the US. The structure of politics in Mexico has remained the same since the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) led the way out of the Revolution in 1917. However, during this time, the character and methods of different ruling parties has altered along the political spectrum. Although having decreased,

allegations of fraud are still widespread in elections and the strength of the opposition still poses a threat, 77 years on. The growth from “bust to boom” (Whitehead, cited by Sheahan, 1987, p. 302) opened up the economy, but has had dire social and environmental effects. Mexico is a deeply divided country, there exists great social and economic polarization within all regions, but real overall contrasts between North and South. The North is more prosperous overall, compared to the South where most of the indigenous population live, with much intractable poverty. Most investment and development has been centred along the 2000 mile border with the US, and on joining NAFTA, surely the gap will widen as more jobs and wealth are created in the North ? Full economic recovery,

therefore depends on the strength of the domestic market, as wages and living standards are declining. Population has risen from approximately 25 million in the 1950’s to nearly 90 million in the early 1990’s (Barry, 1992, p. xix). During industrialisation, urban development was encouraged (the urban population rose from 40 % in the 1950’s to 72 % in the 1990’s, Barry, 1992, p. xix), and currently the environmental effects of this rapid growth are being felt. Mexico City has become one of the world’s largest and most polluted cities, and may be uninhabitable in mere decades (Barry, 1992, p. xx). All of the above are issues the country has to deal with delicately in the future – the land and its people are at stake. In a country where the majority, the poor, feel

isolated from the new free market reforms, and in a country where disgruntled peasant uprisings caused years of bloody and prolonged Revolution (Sheahan, 1987, p.271), it is essential that the inequalities are addressed carefully and subsequently reduced. In addition to Mexico’s traditional sources of wealth – mining, fishing, agriculture and modern manufacturing industries, services and now tourism are becoming increasingly important for the country. With its inexhaustible attractions, Mexico is using its cultures, cuisines, handicrafts, architecture, art and history to lure visitors, together with its varying natural landscapes of deserts, mountains, jungles and beaches. Its great diversity being perhaps what attracts so many people – in providing something for everyone.

METHODOLOGY 3.1 – METHODOLOGY The use of a suitable methodology is essential in all fields of study. The importance of a relevant method of data collection should be understood as this will lead to the simplest interpretation of information and hence accuracy of results, so as to achieve a full understanding of a topic. In the case of undertaking a geography dissertation on foreign soils, especially in a country so different, where attitudes, morals, and cultures are so assorted, careful planning is crucial. It is difficult to anticipate what the response will be like, full co-operation cannot be taken for granted and it is vital to respect the informants and their way of life, so as not to appear patronizing. The methods used to study tourism vary greatly, in this case based