Tourism As A Development Strategy In The — страница 7

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on participant observation, statistical, theoretical and attitudinal information – from primary and secondary sources, qualitative and quantitative. Extensive reading and research was carried out in preparation for the field trip on tourism and development in the Third World and familiarising myself with the Mexican scene – history, economy, politics, the people and their way of life. I contacted the Mexican Embassy and the Latin American Bureau in London, together with various travel agencies to obtain any additional information on the topic not available in libraries. In addition, a questionnaire was designed to obtain attitudinal material, which is as essential as numeric data in this study. In this case, two different questionnaires were asked in two localities – 15 to

residents and 15 to visitors in Oaxaca City and similarly, 15 to residents and 15 to visitors in Puerto Escondido – a total of 60. Although seemingly quite a small sample, this is adequate as it is the general opinions that are important here, the quality and not the quantity. The design of each questionnaire is such that a variety of factual and attitudinal questions were asked, opinions of both resident and visitor are essential in this study. It must be acknowledged that there are problems faced when preparing and carrying out this type of survey. As the questionnaires were specifically directed at two groups of people, the sampling method was not random. It was necessary to ask resident questionnaires to employees in hotels, restaurants, shops, etc., those evidently in

contact with tourists. Visitor questionnaires were asked to those people staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping, to those people looking tourist-like. This method does have its bias because as a tourist, more specifically a backpacker travelling with 3 other backpackers, the informants will not be completely random, and due to these circumstances, more questionnaires were asked to backpackers than any other tourists. Processing the data, assembling the results and portraying them suitably is vital to convey the information in the best way and so analyze it in context of the aims of the study. With a mixture of factual and attitudinal questions, much information can be analyzed and material deducted. In this case, there is no real use for graphical means as these would

not portray the information as well as quotes in the text disclosed, but instead more emphasis will be placed on the sentiment and speculative comments that they reveal. In addition to the questionnaires, the use of visual images was important, in the form of photographs, as these are useful to portray an area, although factors such as the weather, the time of day and the number of people, etc. will indicate, sometimes falsely, how desirable a place appears. In addition, I visited tourist information bureaux in Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido, the public library and the Welte Institute for Education in Oaxaca City. I collected numerous brochures and leaflets on tourism in the area and collated data and other information from regional sources, such as state development plans and

public records. During the whole field trip, participant observation as a tourist was essential as was communication with residents and visitors in general, to obtain additional opinions and material and to get a feel for the region, as a tourist. Once out of the field, it was necessary to research more on the topic and the exact direction the dissertation would take could be ascertained, together with the compiling of results. TOURISM IN OAXACA STATE 4.1 – GEOGRAPHICAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUND Oaxaca’s 94,000 square kilometres make it the fifth largest of Mexico’s 32 states (Fig. 4.11). Situated in the south, most of its terrain is rugged mountains and narrow valleys. In the North and West, ranks of hard-to-penetrate mountains isolate it from the rest of Mexico, towards the

East, it occupies the low-lying Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and in the South, the long, narrow coastal plain, separated from the Central Valleys by the Sierra Madre del Sur (Lonely Planet Publications, 1992) (Fig. 4.12). The Y-shaped fertile plain in the Central Valleys, dominated by the capital Oaxaca City, stands at an altitude of 1,550 metres, surrounded by 2,000-3,000 metre high mountains. Approximately 600 kilometres of Pacific Coast is home to some of Mexico’s finest beaches at Puerto Escondido and Puerto Ángel and the new mega-resort of Bahías de Huatulco (Bays of Huatulco). The climate is pleasant, temperatures on the coast ranging from 20-37 degrees and from 13-32 degrees in the Central Valleys (Lonely Planet Publications, 1992, p.648). Oaxaca blends the history,