The so-called “alternative tourism” begins to gain popularity in Mexico and especially in Yucatan, where cenotes, haciendas, beaches, archaeology and gastronomy attract more visitors every year seeking to know more than jst the conventional destinations and typical tourist offers.
The logistics director of the National Encounter of Couchsurfing that was developed in this city, Sudibeth Peniche, explained that this type of tourism, known in the world as “couchsurfing”, began just over 20 years ago, and has been recently boosted with the launch of an application of the same name. The concept came to exist in California, United States, in the year 2004.
The use of the application in Mexico and specifically in Merida had its empowerment in 2006, he added in an interview for Notimex.
The “alternative” tourists are people who like to travel in a different way to the conventional and who prefer to know the destination through the local point of view, he said.
“What the ‘alternative’ tourist really looks for is a cultural exchange and to know how people really live, and not necessarily go to traditional hotels and shopping malls to buy or eat, they rather look for personal experiences and they seek to get to know the destination through the eyes of its residents, “he said.
Merida hosted the eighth edition of the national meeting of Couchsurfing just a couple of days ago. The app currently has more than 12 million subscribers in more than 50 thousand cities featuring 550 thousand events.
Sudibeth Peniche, who is also the operational director of this meeting indicated that the event had points of activity in Mérida, as well as in the cenotes of Homún, the colonial city of Izamal, the port of San Crisanto, the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá, Yokdzonot, the Mayan village Pujulá and the city of Valladolid, among others.
For the event there was an attendance record of 120 “hosted” travelers, between national and international visitors, plus another 300 people who arrived on their own.
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx