In celebration of World Tourism Day, Yucatán held a Commemoration Day for World Tourism to highlight the importance of the tourism sector in the economic development of the state, aligning itself with the global objective of UNWTO “Tourism and Green Investments.”
This event seeks to emphasize the importance of reflecting on the impact and potential of tourism in our world. It also provides an opportunity to share some of the cultural and natural riches that the state possesses, bringing people closer together and highlighting our common humanity.
To achieve this, the Government of the State, through the Ministry of Tourism Development of Yucatán (Sefotur), led by Michelle Fridman, presented the “Mayan Villages” program and awarded the first 12 designations in 3 categories: Community Villages, Mayan Experiences, and Thematic Villages.
In addition to the presentation of the Mayan Villages, various events took place as part of the World Tourism Day Commemoration, involving experts from the tourism industry and other fields. Highlights included the panel on “Rural Tourism and Mayan Villages” and the keynote lecture on “Heritage and Sustainable Tourism in Yucatán.”
During her participation, Fridman Hirsch pointed out that in Yucatán, they have embraced everything that makes them proud of their identity, traditions, customs, history, gastronomy, and culture. They use each of these elements to promote decentralized and inclusive tourism where everyone can participate, while preserving the environment. In this context, the Mayan Villages program is one of the best success stories.
“A Mayan village is an innovative community tourism product located in a rural environment. Its main objective is to contribute to the preservation of cultural and natural heritage while generating jobs for indigenous communities. This tourism project covers cultural, rural, gastronomic, and natural aspects, emphasizing the importance of traditional housing, crafts, the Maya language, as well as the offer of tourism services and activities,” concluded the head of Sefotur.
Subsequently, Secretary Fridman presented the Yucatán Tourism Merit Recognition to Mr. José Humberto Gómez Rodríguez, better known as “Don Beto.” In his absence, the award was received by his children, José Humberto Gómez Ortíz and Floricely Gómez Ortíz.
“Don Beto,” who has been a tourist guide and historian in the state since 1956, was also a founding member, president, secretary, and treasurer of the Cooperative of Mayab Guides. He was also one of the founders of the Yucatán Section of the National Guides Union, introducing federal license plates for guide vehicles to the state.
It is worth noting that the greatest merit of “Don Beto” is his participation in the discovery of Mayan vaults with unique archaeological pieces in the Balankanché caves, becoming the first person in centuries to observe more than 500 objects dedicated mostly to the god Chaac.
This event organized by Sefotur in Yucatán concluded with the participation of Luis Zea Mares, a specialist in the Culture Sector at the UNESCO Office in Mexico, who highlighted the importance of tourism and heritage in a single sentence: “Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.” He reiterated the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the state.
The work carried out by the Government of the State, led by Mauricio Vila Dosal, through the Ministry of Tourism Development, under the leadership of Michelle Fridman Hirsch, in collaboration with communities and the private sector, continues to position and consolidate Yucatán as a great tourist destination that seeks social and economic development from a sustainability perspective.