Community-Based Ecotourism Management: The Case of a Cooperative in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

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Abstract

Nature-based ecotourism has been a growing trend, especially in rural areas where balance with the environment is desirable and it turns into a driver for economic and social development. An ecotourism cooperative operating in the “El Verde Camacho” Sanctuary, is an example of collaborative work between the government experts and the community. The cooperative was created with the support of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP, in Spanish Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas), developed and funded by this government office, it involved the advice of experts in ecology as well as cooperative’s management and residents of “El Recreo” community. This study aims to describe the involvement process and community management as well as the benefits derived from ecotourism according to the reviewed literature; a case study with a qualitative approach was defined in the Sanctuary in this regard. Semi-structured interviews were used to discover community members’ perception of management involvement and benefits of ecotourism. The findings show positive opinions of community residents.

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