Current situation: If the tourism sector wants to protect its businesses, it must adapt to climate change

In 2016, Mexico received more than 35 million international tourists who, on average, spent more than 17 billion USD, which is equivalent to 8.7% of the national GDP. More than four million people work in the tourism sector and it is estimated that this number will increase to five million in the year 2027.

However, the tourism sector faces the impacts of climate change that can already be observed today. As temperatures increase, some regions run the risk of losing their attraction as a tourist destination. The coastal region is very vulnerable to rising sea levels, the degradation of its beaches and the arrival of hurricanes. The diving business depends on the coral reefs with their diverse flora and fauna. At the same time, many destinations in the interior of the country are facing the loss of ecosystems as well as the reduction of biodiversity and natural water supply.

It is estimated that only between 2000 and 2014 the tourism sector in Mexico has suffered an annual loss caused by climatic damages of 1.4 to 14.700 billion dollars. That is a 30% increase compared to the last 20 years.

Our approach: Strengthening the capacities related to ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EBA) of the tourism sector

The objective of ADAPTUR is to support the tourism sector to adapt to climate change. The purpose is to reduce the risks for the tourism business, protect their natural assets (e.g. beaches, reefs, forests, biodiversity) and the services provided by ecosystems (e.g. water supply, hurricane protection, floods, landslides , etc.). ADAPTUR is a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and is part of the International Climate Protection Initiative (IKI).

The project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) through the Directorate General of Sustainable Tourism Management (DGOTS), the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) through the General Directorate of Policies for Climate Change (DGPCC), the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC).

Strengthening capacities in three tourist destinations

The ADAPTUR project works in three tourist destinations in Mexico: Riviera Nayarit-Jalisco (Mexican Pacific), San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (Bajío) and Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo (Mexican Caribbean). The selection was achieved thanks to different criteria of economic, social and environmental vulnerability, as well as the projection of results. Security has also been a determining factor.

In each destination, ADAPTUR is represented by a Technical Advisor who coordinates the activities of the project and provides technical assistance to local stakeholders. This includes events to provide information, facilitation of public-private dialogues, technical training for at least 300 people, participatory planning of adaptation measures and assistance in formulating projects and proposals to mobilize funds. The project also facilitates access to international know-how (studies, concepts, methodology, etc.) and exchange with other projects in Latin America.

Participation as a key principle

The project works under the scheme of Public-Private Cooperation. The participation of all stakeholders in the tourism sector (companies, entrepreneurs, associations, foundations, etc.) and the social sector (CSOs, communities, academia, etc.) is sought to develop solutions and shared measures for all those involved in the regions pilot.

Planned results:

1. National level

• Supporting Mexico in complying with its international commitments to adapt to climate change: Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

• Develop an Adaptation Plan for the Tourism Sector as part of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP for its acronym in English).

2. State level: Quintana Roo (Riviera Maya), Nayarit and Jalisco (Riviera Nayarit-Jalisco) and Guanajuato (San Miguel de Allende

• Develop economic analyzes on the impacts of climate change for the tourism sector.

• Help integrate criteria and adaptation measures into sectoral plans and processes (e.g. investment programs).

• Facilitate public-private dialogue.

3. Local level: Site of pilot projects in Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit / Jalisco and San Miguel de Allende

• 10 projects of adaptation to climate change in total of the 3 regions in cooperation with tourism companies.

• Sensitize actors about the effects of climate change

• Facilitate intersectoral dialogue.

Contact: adaptur[AT]