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Latin American Perspectives Economic and Social Impacts of Tourism in Mexico

Tamar Diana Wilson Latin American Perspectives 2008; 35; 37 DOI: 10.1177/0094582X08315758 The online version of this article can be found at:

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Economic and Social Impacts of Tourism in Mexico

by Tamar Diana Wilson

In developing its tourist industry, the Mexican government had three main goals: earning foreign exchange, creating employment, and diverting internal migration toward tourism development poles. Statistics on employment and in-migration to Mazatln, Puerto Vallarta, Cancn, and Los Cabos show that it has been relatively successful in achieving these goals. However, Mexico has increased its dependency on loans, foreign capital, and foreign patronage and has imposed costs on the working class employed in low-waged and precarious tourist jobs, including de facto social and economic apartheid. Keywords: Tourism employment, Female labor force, Economic crisis, Internal migration, Dependency

Tourism is one of the mainstays of the Mexican economy and its largest service sector; it produces the third-highest foreign exchange earnings after oil export (Clancy 2001a: 10; 2001b: 130; G. Evans, 1994: 834) and migrant remittances.1 Although there had been tourism to the border cities (accelerating during the Prohibition era in the United States in the 1920s), to Acapulco (since the 1940s), and to Puerto Vallarta (since the 1960s), Mexico began reemphasizing tourism development as part of an economic development strategy in the late 1960s, marked by the establishment of National Trust Fund for Tourism Infrastructure in 1967, later to become, in 1974, the National Fund for Tourism Development (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al TurismoFONATUR) (Butler, Pick, and Hettrick, 2001; Clancy, 2001a: 51). Early plans for tourism development called for the establishment of five poles in four of the poorest states with extensive coasts: Cancn (Quintana Roo), the first to be initiated, beginning in 1971, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (Guerrero), Bahas de Huatulco (Oaxaca), and Los Cabos and Loreto (Baja California Sur) (Butler, Pick, and Hettrick, 2001: 213; Clancy, 2001a: 50-52). Loans from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank were focused on infrastructure and construction of hotels and other tourist facilities (Clancy, 2001a: 52; World Bank, 2004a; 2004b; 2004c). Besides being charged with the drawing up of plans, the developing of infrastructure, and the pursuit of financing through both loans and private investment for the targeted areas, FONATUR and the Secretara de Turismo (Secretariat of Tourism) are responsible for tourism development throughout the nation, including border and inland cities as well as coastal sun and beach
Tamar Diana Wilson, a research affiliate of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, has published a number of articles on immigration and on the informal sector. She is the author of Subsidizing Capitalism: Brickmakers on the U.S.-Mexican Border (2005). She thanks the reviewers for their comments and criticisms.
LATIN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES, Issue 160, Vol. 35 No. 3, May 2008 37-52 DOI: 10.1177/0094582X08315758 2008 Latin American Perspectives

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resorts. Currently the Secretariat has eight tourism projects planned that cover the entire country, including the Programa Tesoros Coloniales (involving colonial cities in the states of Aguascalientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacn, Quertaro, San Lus Potos, and Zacatecas), Centros de Playa (including sun and beach resorts in Baja California Sur, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Sinaloa and expanding beyond the original five growth poles), Pueblos Mgicos (including San Cristbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Ptzcuaro, Michocan), and the Programa Mundo Maya (which includes the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatn as well as neighboring countries that contain Maya sites (Secretara de Turismo, 2004a; 2004b; 2004c; 2004d). There is also a plan to build marinas along the two coasts of Baja California and the mainlands coast as far as the state of Nayarit. Known as the Escalera Natica (the Nautical Ladder), this plan has been attacked by environmentalists, citing the anticipated destruction of marine flora and fauna. Lack of funds has halted the full implementation of this project. There have been political as well as economic motives behind the impulse toward decentralized tourism development. As Hiernaux-Nicolas (1999: 129) says:
In part, the selection of Cancn . . . reflected geostrategic considerations. The government feared a threat from the left in the Yucatn, which had barely developed, except around Mrida; it also faced problems in its main export, sisal, for which demand was dropping. . . . Worst off was the state of Quintana Roo, which had no important urban center and no prospect for economic development. The area bordered the politically troubled neighborhood of Central America. Fear of indigenous uprisings therefore contributed to the desire to find development alternatives for the southeast. The same reasoning later led to the impulse to jump-start projects in Mexican California and also to develop Ixtapa, where guerrillas had operated since the 1960s.

In the following pages I will first briefly describe Mexican state-led tourist development and the importance of foreign influences, then review the success of employment creation and the diverting of migration toward four tourist destinations (Benito Jarez [the site of Cancn,] Los Cabos, Mazatln, and Puerto Vallarta), and finally assess some of the costs of tourism development for the working classes.

STATE-LED DEVELOPMENT? For over two decades Mexico has attracted the most foreign tourists and foreign currency of any country in the Third World (Clancy, 1999: 9). One reason for this is its proximity to the United States. Eighty-four percent of non-border foreign tourists to Mexico are from the United States (Tables 1 and 2). Mexicos dependence on the United States thus continues under a new guise. That what happens in the United States can affect Mexicos tourism economy can be seen in the drop-off of tourist numbers beginning in 2001. The peak tourist season begins in November for airborne internal tourists to Mexico, but the 9/11 attacks in New York reduced tourist numbers.

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Numbers of Foreign Tourists (millions) to Mexico, 20002002

Total to Interior Total 2000 2001 2002 20,641.52 19,819.46 19,666.68 No. 8,478.70 8,139.74 7,817.97 % 41.1 41.1 39.7 Percentage to Interior from United States 84.2 85.6 85.2

Source: Adapted from Secretara de Turismo (2004e).


Tourist Spending (millions of U.S. dollars) in Mexico, 20002002

Non-Border Spending Total 2000 2001 2002 6,450.83 6,538.37 6,083.74 Amount 5,237.69 5,941.38 6,724.66 % 81.4 90.9 90.5 Percentage of Spending by U.S. Tourists 81.8 74.1 72.2

Source: Adapted from Secretaria de Turismo (2004f).

Clancy (1999; 2001a; 2001b) stresses that Mexican tourist development was state-led. One cannot, however, ignore the forces of globalization that have affected state policies, including pressures by international financial institutions to conform to a neoliberal agenda. Thus a stipulation by the Inter-American Development Bank (2004: 2) when it granted FONATUR a US$150 million loan in 1993 for tourism-related economic development in Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Guerrero, and Baja California was that international competitive bidding be used when the value of goods to be procured exceeded US$250,000 or the value of construction exceeded US$5 million. In the course of the Mexican hotel industrys history, Mexican-owned hotels have become state-owned, then privatized, and then associated with transnational corporations in response the changing international economic climate molded by capitalist imperatives. The example of Hoteles Presidente InterContinental is instructive (see Butler, Pick, and Hettrick, 2001: 225227). Founded in the 1950s by a Mexican businessman, the 28-hotel chain was bought out by the Mexican government in 1972 in the midst of the first great tourism push and to ensure the chains economic viability. In 1985, at the height of structural adjustment programs requiring governments to privatize state-run enterprises (Mowforth and Munt, 2003 [1998]: 263), the chain was sold to four Mexican families. As Mowforth and Munt point out, In the world of tourism, as in many other industries, this process of structural adjustment effectively delivers control of development to TNCs and consultancies, most of which are based in the First World. This relegates the role of the national government to one of providing the necessary infrastructure. For this, it must seek more loans, leaving it yet more indebted than before (264). After its

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reprivatization, Hoteles Presidente Inter-Continental entered an association with Stouffer Hotels (owned by Nestl) from 1991 to 1993 and later with InterContinental Hotels, a transnational corporation with some with 200 hotels in 78 countries (Butler, Pick, and Hettrick, 2001: 225). The transnationals do not always work alone in penetrating tourism development, as this example shows. According to Clancy (2001a: 79, 91), Several large and dynamic Mexican firms have entered into partnerships with transnational hotel chains, with top categories of hotels tied to international and the most dynamic faction of domestic capital. In other words, a class analysis, to the extent that one was developed in dependency theory, shows (Frank, 1969: 313) that
Latin American industrialists already have becomeor in the near future will becomeassociates, partners, bureaucrats, suppliers, and clients of mixed foreignLatin American enterprises and groups, which becloud and obscure Latin American national interests andmore importantwhich increasingly tie the personal economic interests of the individual Latin American bourgeois industrialist tail to the metropolitan neo-imperialist dog.

The metropolitan dog now works mainly through international lending institutions. Clancy rejects dependency theory (while ignoring the class analysis it includes) as an explanation for the development of tourism in Mexico, pointing out that the situation is more complicated. For example, the Mexican company Ingenieros Civiles Asociados is a transnational company deeply involved in infrastructural development throughout Mexico, is allied with international hotel chains, and is undertaking projects throughout Latin America, often in conjunction with U.S.-based transnationals (Clancy, 2001a: 8586). It can be argued (see Butler, Pick, and Hettrick 2001) that Mexico has a core, semiperiphery, and periphery within it and that most tourist development is carried out by the core in the periphery and semiperiphery. In any case, the economic inequality between the Mexican elite involved in tourism and tourisms daily service staff in hotels and resorts is increasing. Using tourism development as the prime example of service-sector development, Sernau (1994: 108, my italics) comments: The result is a sector that is very modern in many of its appearances yet filled with workers at the bottom rungs whose labor is inefficiently employed and minimally compensated, and who have few chances to establish themselves in more secure and profitable positions. This distinction underlies the most important class cleavage emerging in Mexican society. As will be seen below, in-migration into this low-waged employment is common.

EMPLOYMENT AND MIGRATION IN FOUR TOURIST CENTERS Several researchers have called attention to the phenomenon of female inmigration to tourist centers in search of work, including Zihuatanejo (Kennedy, Russin, and Martnez, 1977, cited in Reynoso y Valle and de Regt, 1979) and Puerto Vallarta (Chant, 1997a; 1997b; 1991). Chant has shown that there were far higher percentages of female-headed households in Puerto Vallarta (19.6 percent) than in the interior cities of Len (10.4 percent) and Quertaro (13.5 percent) and explained this in terms of this citys role as a

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Female-Headed Households in Mexico and in Four Mexican Tourist Destinations, 2000

Total Households Mexico Los Cabos Benito Jurez (Cancn) Mazatln Puerto Vallarta Source: INEGI (2004b). 22,268,916 27,656 108,844 95,673 44,632 Female-Headed (%) 20.64 16.13 18.33 22.5 20.53

tourist center that provides many jobs for women in the service economy. With access to employment, it became possible for women to live independently, opting out of unsatisfactory marriages or avoiding them altogether (Chant, 1997a: 161; 1997b: 140; 1991: 172173). In addition, the fact that many male workers in the tourist industry migrated to take part in agricultural work during the low season reduced the male/female sex ratio in that city (Chant, 1997a: 163), and contact with female tourists living a more relaxed lifestyle permitted the adoption of models of greater sexual freedom (Chant, 1997a: 163164; 1997b: 141; 1991: 173). Finally, recent women migrants lack of networks in that city gave them an anonymity that permitted a slightly greater relaxation of conventional behaviour (Chant, 1997a: 163), and relieved them of pressures from kin to marry (Chant, 1991: 173). Almost 20 years after Chants fieldwork in Puerto Vallarta, the situation in Mexico has changed. The number of female-headed households nationwide has increased, and in the four tourist centers examined here the three more dynamic are on a par with or below the national average of 20.6 percent female-headed households (Table 3). I will argue here that one impact of tourism, in keeping with national goals, is expanded employment creation not only for women but especially for men, who work both in tourist services such as restaurants and hotels and in the construction of tourist accommodations and attractions and local infrastructure in some tourist centers. Sometimes, indeed, male migration to expanding tourist centers exceeds female migration, leading to a lower than average number and percentage of female-headed households. The labor force statistics of Table 4 show that the percentage of the total labor force involved in construction is greater in all four tourist destinations than the national average. The labor force in construction in the expanding tourist center of the municipio of Los Cabos, with 16.4 percent, is more than double the national average. It is typical for large numbers of construction workers to flood into tourist centers during the initial construction boom; their presence is usually temporary (Reynoso y Valle and de Regt, 1979: 127128; Sernau, 1994: 96). Los Cabos is unique among Mexican tourist centers in that hotels, condominiums and houses, golf courses, and a new marina continue to be built more than 20 years later. Notably, Mazatln has the lowest percentage of the labor force involved in construction, but even this is above the national average.

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Labor Force (percentage) in Tourism in Mexico and Four Mexican Tourist Destinations by Sex, 2000
Mexico Total labor force % in construction % in hotels and restaurants Male labor force % total labor force % in construction % in hotels and restaurants Female labor force % total labor force % in construction % in hotels and restaurants Source: INEGI (2004a). 33,730,210 7.92 4.55 23,075,220 68.4 11.23 3.33 10,654,990 31.6 0.07 7.19 Los Cabos 46,109 16.43 22.77 32,388 70.24 22.63 20.54 13,721 29.76 1.78 28.04 Cancn 180,961 8.64 23.38 123,681 68.35 12.24 24.15 57,280 31.65 0.085 21.71 Mazatln 145,419 8.37 10.34 97,150 66.81 12.17 8.83 48,269 33.19 0.07 13.39 Puerto Vallarta 76,337 9.30 24.97 49,622 65.0 14.01 24.43 26,715 35.0 0.05 25.97

The highest percentage of men involved in hotel and restaurant work is found in Puerto Vallarta. Mazatln, with a more diversified economy and less the target of government tourism development policies, has only 8.8 percent of its male labor force working in hotels and restaurants, though that is still more than double the national average. Chant (1997a: 138139) found that upscale restaurants in Puerto Vallarta preferred male waiters, while in hotels women were given work (for example, as chambermaids) involving little interaction with the publicwhat could be called backstage jobs. My observations in Puerto Vallarta from 2003 through 2006 indicated that most restaurant work involved men rather than women. Observations in Cancn and Los Cabos (where I have lived for more than a decade) found men serving as bartenders, cooks, and waiters in fashionable restaurants. Proportionately more women are involved in hotel and restaurant work than men, both nationally and in three of the four tourist centers examined (Table 4). The reasons given for this can be given a cultural/social or an economic cast. As we have seen, Chants explanation concerns womens agency in leaving unsatisfactory marriages. An economic explanation is related to the economic crises of 1982 and 1994, which Gonzlez de la Rocha (1994; 2001) has argued led to households sending more women into the labor market and into informal self-employment in response to declining household income and to the structural adjustment policies forced on Mexico by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Vadi, 2001: 130). Structural adjustment was made a condition of the receipt of loans from international banks and involved opening up to foreign investment, privatizing state enterprises in the interest of attracting such investment, emphasis on exports to earn foreign currency, maintaining or reducing wages to make exports competitive, lowering import restrictions, devaluation of the local currency, and the deregulation of labor and environmental protections (Reid, 2003: 98, citing Bello, 1996: 286). Tourism has been called an invisible export industry that as in cases of banking and insurance . . . [involves] no tangible product which is shipped from one place to another (Mathieson and Wall, 1982: 38). It is also

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an industry that has been encouraged by the availability of loans from international development banks. A number of scholars have noted that structural adjustment policies favor the hiring of lower-waged women over men (agatay and zler, 1995; Safa, 1995; Standing, 1989), a phenomenon documented for Mexico (AlarcnGonzlez and McKinley, 1999). Paralleling Gonzlez de la Rochas (1994; 2001) conclusions about increasing job-seeking by women during economic crisis, agatay and zler (1995: 1885) note that adjustment policies lead to a worsened income distribution. Because of this effect, more family members among low-income groups are forced to seek paid employment to compensate for declining family incomes. Hence women are pushed into the labor market. The data available on female-headed households help to bolster the argument that economic factors are more important than cultural/social changes in explaining womens presence in the tourism industry, The figures in Table 3 show, first, that by 2000, 20.6 percent of households in Mexico were female-headed. (This figure may be inflated by including the de facto female heads of households in which the male household head is temporarily absent in the United States.) Of the four tourist centers, only Mazatln has a higher percentage of female-headed households (22.5 percent), and, as we have seen, Mazatln is the tourist city in which the lowest percentage of the female labor force is found in hotel and restaurant employment. It is also the tourist magnet that has received the least attention of the four in terms of promotion, infrastructure, and investment under the governments wing. It is also, along with Puerto Vallarta, one of the oldest: thus its migration streams occurred earlier than in Cancn or Los Cabos. Second, in Puerto Vallarta the percentage of female-headed households (20.5 percent) is comparable to the national average (20.6 percent), but in Los Cabos and Cancn it is lower than the national average (16.1 percent and 18.3 percent respectively). This suggests that male in-migration to these tourist centers may be on a par with or even exceed female in-migration. Given the statistics on the percentages of men in construction work and in hotel and restaurant services, it can be argued that this employment not only draws men in but keeps them there. Although a construction job will seldom last for more than two years, in the rapidly growing tourist centers a shift to a construction site in the same municipio is a possibility and some men may settle semipermanently or permanently. This seems to be the case for Los Cabos, where, as noted above, 22.6 percent of the male labor force is in construction (and 20.5 percent in hotel and restaurant work) and where female-headed households are 4 percentage points less than the national average. Another possible reason for fewer female-headed households in tourist-overwhelmed Los Cabos is that there may be a negative reaction to the friction-causing female tourist behavior displayed in bars and discos and on the beaches that leads to a differentiation of local behavior rather than the copying of it that Chant found in mid-1980s Puerto Vallarta which also has fewer foreign tourists per capita than Los Cabos. As can be seen in Table 5, Los Cabos, the most rapidly growing tourist center, has more males than females. The male/female sex ratio is at parity in Cancn and Puerto Vallarta, and there are slightly more females than males in

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Number of Males per Females in Four Mexican Tourist Destinations, 2000

Males (%) Los Cabos Benito Jurez (Cancn) Mazatln Puerto Vallarta Source: INEGI (2004c). 52.9 51.3 49.3 50.1 Females (%) 47.1 48.7 50.7 49.9 M/F Ratio 1.12 1.05 0.97 1.004


Percentages of Male and Female Migrants to Four Mexican Tourist Destinations, 2000
Migrants from Other States No. Los Cabos Benito Jurez (Cancn) Mazatln Puerto Vallarta Source: INEGI (2004c). 53,294 290,844 58,114 56,499 % 46.7 69.3 15.3 30.6 Males (%) 52.9 51.3 50.0 50.6 Females (%) 47.1 48.7 50.0 49.4 M/F Ratio 1.19 1.06 1.00 1.025

Mazatln, the city with the highest percentage of female-headed households (22.5 percent). Notably, only in Mazatln are the percentages of male and female migrants identical (Table 6). The overabundance of males may be a demographic reason for slightly lower than average incidences of female-headed households in three of the tourist centers. However, while demographic factors may play a role in reducing the incidence of female-headed households, it must be asked why female labor participation in general is higher than the percentage of female-headed households (assuming that all female-headed households will be employed in some income-generating activity, though many will be in informal-sector work). Crisis conditions and structural adjustment policies leading to greater income inequalities between the well-off and the poor (Alarcn-Gonzlez and McKinley, 1999: 106) play a leading role. In other words, intact households are sending women into the tourism labor market in the interest of maintaining household income. Notably, the statistics given in Table 3 concerning female employment in tourism do not include women working in what Lea (1998: 46) calls indirect tourism employment in businesses affected by tourism in a secondary way like local transport, handicrafts and banks or in induced employment, which he characterizes as arising from the spending of money by local residents from their tourist incomes. The fact that they exclude work in the informal sector such as, for example, street or beach vendors, domestic workers for the expatriates who inevitably form part of the population of Mexican tourist centers, and work in the entertainment industry catering to male tourists leads to an underestimation of womens involvement in income-generating activities directly or indirectly related to tourism.

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Given the data in Table 3 for these four tourist centers, it seems that Mexicos goal of increasing employment through tourism development has indeed been met. Notably, most of the jobs created in tourist centers are similar to those in which vast numbers of Mexican immigrants to the United States are employed: maintenance, gardening, and janitorial work for men and domestic work for women in the hotel sector. Although some hotel workers are unionized, many are not. In Los Cabos, repeated hiring, firing, and rehiring enable many of the hotels to avoid paying the benefits legislated by the Mexican government for formal-sector workers, which go into effect only after three to six months of employment. Hotel chambermaids and maintenance workers float from one hotel to another. Another goal that has been met is deflecting in-migration away from major cities and into new growth poles. Except for Mazatln, large portions of the populations of these centers are born elsewhere. Patterns of in-migration differ between the longer-established and more gradually evolving Puerto Vallarta and Mazatln, the top-down planned Cancn, and the even newer Los Cabos. The five entities sending most migrants to Mazatln are, in order, Nayarit (21.8), Durango (14.0), Jalisco (11.0), the Federal District (7.9), and Sonora (6.2). Together they send 60.7 percent of the 58,114 people born outside of the state of Sinaloa. The five most important points of origin for in-migrants to Puerto Vallarta are Nayarit (26.1), Guerrero (18.0), the Federal District (13.7), Michoacn (9.4), and Guanajuato (4.3), which send 68.4 percent of the 56,499 people born outside of Jalisco. To Cancn, the Federal District (13.0), Veracruz (11.6), Tabasco (9.8), Chiapas (5.8), and Campeche (5.2) send 45.3 percent of the 290,844 persons born outside of Quintana Roo. Guerrero (11.4), Sinaloa (6.9), the Federal District (4.5), Jalisco (3.4), and Oaxaca (2.8) are the major sending areas to Los Cabos, but these points of origin send only 28.8 percent of the 49,266 people born elsewhere; the top 10 sending states make up only 37.1 percent of the population born outside of Baja California Sur (INEGI, 2004c). Several conclusions can be drawn from these data. It seems that, although all states have representatives in all four tourist centers, in the older, more slowly evolving tourist centersMazatln and Puerto Vallartain-migrant streams have over time become channeled from a limited number of major sending states (and the Federal District). In both Mazatln and Puerto Vallarta, four sending states and the Federal District send 60 percent or more migrants, while in the newer, top-down planned magnets of Cancn and Los Cabos in-migrants continue to arrive in an exploratory fashion from all regions of the republic; Cancn receives 45 percent of its in-migrants from five sending entities and Los Cabos only 29 percent. This suggests that in the older tourist magnets of Mazatln and Puerto Vallarta, some migration networks have reached a level of viability such that their personnel can be channeled into employment there to the exclusion of members of smaller networks less able to gain a foothold in the local economy. Because the upsurge of tourism occurred earlier in Mazatln and Puerto Vallarta, in-migration to these tourist magnets also occurred earlier, with offspring born there becoming part of the tourism-related labor forcehence the lower incidence of outsiders in these two tourist cities. At the same time, especially in Los Cabos, it seems that no primary networks have cornered the labor market to the exclusion of networks with fewer

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numbers: employment opportunities are burgeoning, and pioneers come from most states as well as the Federal District. Many of these pioneers and their network members will settle permanently, some temporarily, and some will constitute a floating population moving from tourist center to tourist center over the years and according to the season. Anticipating the predicted demise of Acapulco as a foreign tourist magnet (Hiernaux-Nicolas, 1999: 128; Clancy, 2001a: 117), its home state of Guerrero has sent populations to three of the four tourist centers: it is the major state of origin of in-migrants to Los Cabos, the second to Puerto Vallarta, and the sixth to Cancn (INEGI, 2004c). Service workers from Acapulco have also migrated to the newer resort of Zihuatanejo (also in Guerrero), causing local resentment (Reynoso y Valle and de Regt, 1979: 132). The appearance of in-migrants from the Federal District in all four tourist centers (first in importance in Cancn, third in importance in both Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, and fourth in importance in Mazatln) suggests a welcome out-flow of people from that primate city, the largest in the world. In sum, Mexicos goals of increasing employment (low-waged as it is) and promoting growth poles to slow in-migration to interior cities and especially to the Federal District are being met.

THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE: DISLOCATIONS AND SOCIOECONOMIC APARTHEID The other face of the success story for Mexican tourism involves the marginalization of great numbers of the local population. Dislocation of local residents from land occupied sometimes for generations is a common consequence of tourism development in Mexico. Although top-down plans often include a community development team to help the local population adapt to changes, FONATURs plans are imposed from above and often lead to dispossession. This dispossession is usually accompanied by compensation the terms of which are set by state agencies and which is commonly viewed as too low by its recipients. Forced relocations have been described for Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Bahas de Huatulco, and Akumal (Butler, Pick, and Hettrick, 2001; Clancy, 2001a; 2001b; G. Evans, 1994; N. Evans, 1979; Pi-Sunyer and Thomas, 1997; Reynoso y Valle and de Regt, 1979). Such dispossession can be expected to occur in connection with eco-tourism development along the Ruta Maya, which involves setting aside large tracts of land in the Lacandn rain forest now used by indigenous peoples for slash-and-burn agriculture (van den Berghe, 1995). In the case of Bahas de Huatulco, an area inhabited by Mixtec and Zapotec Indians since pre-Hispanic times, G. Evans (1994: 841842) points out that when tourism plans were put in place in 1984, Local people initially resisted and complained of exploitation and insufficient compensation for their lands; military presence was felt and complaints were soon silenced. . . . The decision to put in a marina, golf course, hotels, and luxury housing in San Jos del Cabo (municipio of Los Cabos) beginning in 2003 led to the forced relocation of both long-term Mexican settlers and more recent owners, both Mexicans and expatriates. That expatriates as well as local populations may be affected

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is brought out by Herzog (2003: 234235) in his discussion of tourism development plans along the Baja California coast from Tijuana to San Quentn: megaresort developers looking for massive investment opportunities are displacing Americans who own land in trust along the coast. Promises of massive profit making thus put foreign retirees as well as local mestizo and indigenous populations at risk of losing their homeswith disruption of social and kinship networks being especially marked and painful for those Mexicans who have lived for generations in the tourism-targeted areas and usually have deep emotional ties to the houses and land they occupy. Although the de jure social and economic apartheid of Cubas tourist zones identified by Pattullo (1996: 83) and described in detail by Ripley (2001 [1999]) is absent here, de facto socioeconomic apartheid is characteristic of many tourist resorts in Mexico, especially those of the sun-and-beach variety. Cooper (2003) describes the working-class city set up outside Cancns tourist zone to separate the served from the server as Cancns Soweto, rife with youth gangs and graffiti. This separation was planned from the beginning: Like Le Corbusierian urbanists, the designers of Cancn were very strict about segregation. Low- and medium-skill workers could travel to the hotel zone by bus, and those with higher skills by car. The ideal organization of space would provide special locations for work and allow a minimum of interface between workers and the public (Hiernaux-Nicolas, 1999: 129). In IxtapaZihuatanejo, FONATUR planned that the tourist center would be developed in Ixtapa while worker housing would be developed in areas around Zihuatanejo, five miles away (Sernau, 1994: 97). Although Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta are less residentially segregated than Cancn or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, N. Evans (1979: 314) points out that in Puerto Vallartas tourist zones there are hotel condominiums and expensive residential areas which restrict public access to the beach and appear to benefit no one but affluent nationals and foreigners. The self-contained, often gated, all-inclusive resort, typified by Club Med, leads to further segregation between locals and tourists and limits tourist spending outside the complexthus giving little input to local small businesses or to linkages with the surrounding local economy (Freitag, 1994; Clancy, 2001b: 136; Sernau, 1994: 99). In Los Cabos, squatter settlements along the trans-peninsular highway in San Jos de los Cabos and along the highway to Todos Santos in Cabo San Lucas are out of sight and far removed from tourist accommodations and restaurants, recreational facilities, and beaches. In these hidden residential colonias live the janitorial and maintenance staff and the chambermaids for the many tourist hotels, the waiters in the tourist restaurants, and the gardeners and domestic servants who work for the more affluent expatriates and the local elite. The beaches in front of most hotels are off-limits to working-class Mexicans; hotel security guards will approach them if they attempt to visit, asking whether they are lodged in the hotel, though this question is not asked of expatriates or tourists lodged in other hotels or condominiums. Some luxury hotels permit entry to use their gymnasiums, swimming pools, and tennis courts for a cover charge of US$25 to US$35 a day. Twenty-five dollars (or about 250 pesos) was the going daily wage of gardeners and domestic servants in the expatriate community in 2004. Los Cabos is extremely expensive, since it

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is at the end of an 800-some-mile-long peninsula, where transportation costs must be added to the prices of canned goods, sodas, tools, and other items produced elsewhere in Mexico or abroad. From a time-share salesman at one of the most luxurious transnationally owned hotels in Los Cabos, I have heard that chambermaids there earn only 60 pesos a day but are thrilled with their employment there because of the tips they earn. The Mexican Constitution guarantees Mexican citizens access to all beaches, but most luxury hotels simply dismiss this legalism as irrelevant to their operation. The de facto segregation is almost as effective as Cubas de jure apartheid but contrasts with it in being class-based: it is the working-class Mexicans who are excluded, while the Mexican elite frolics beside the foreigners. There are no dollar stores as in Cuba; all Mexicans are permitted to enter Costco or City Club, McDonalds, Subway, or Dominos, or even the Hard Rock Caf and the tourist restaurants (some Mexican-owned, some owned by expatriates) where the average menu item costs US$12 (120 pesos) or more. In the case of the working classes, their low wages make it impossible for them to enjoy such places. As Cooper (2003) points out, a double-scoop ice-cream cone at Hagen-Dazs in Cancn costs US$7.50, more than in the United States and twice the minimum wage for workers in that city.

CONCLUSIONS In 2003, 40 percent of the Mexican population was below that nations poverty line; in 2000 the poorest 20 percent of the population received 3.1 percent of household income or consumption, while the top 20 percent captured 59.1 percent (World Factbook, 2004; World Bank, 2004d: 61). Differences in wealth between those involved in the tourist industry as owners, architects, engineers, and investors and those who work in tourist accommodations and construction of tourist plants are equally as wide. Tourism, as part of the current capitalist order, does not cause these inequalities of wealth but is shaped by and reinforces trends present in global capitalism (Brown, 2000 [1998]) among them seeking out the lowest-waged workforce possible in the interest of profit making. Part of Mexicos draw for tourists is its cheapness compared with developed-country tourist destinations, and this cheapness rests on the backs of workers. Inequalities in the tourism industry between domestic allied with transnational capital and the low-waged foot soldiers of the tourism industry are only reflections of inequalities found elsewhere in the capitalist system. When pointing to the low wages of those involved in tourism, it is important to ask what alternatives there are within the present global order: factories or maquiladoras, where the work is even more characterized by drudgery and where work-related illnesses are common (Fernndez-Kelly, 1983; Pea, 1997)? The well-off investors/owners of tourist plant or owners and managers of companies involved in infrastructural development can be seen as a transnational elite class allied with transnational elites from other nations partly if not primarily for profit making. This is especially the case in the governmentplanned tourist centers of Cancn (where ex-President Salinas de Gortari invested) and Los Cabos (where ex-President Fox has invested). In some of the
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smaller tourist centers, where indigenous people reside (see, e.g., van den Berghe, 1994; 1995), there is an ethnic overlay to exploitation, and here it is carried out by the local bourgeoisie rather than a transnational or national elite. The local mestizo and expatriate petite bourgeoisie owns and runs the accommodations, restaurants, and shops while the indigenous people either sell to those shops or vend their wares from market stalls or on the streets. While preserving the environment and the cultural values and integrating the community into tourism development are specified for the Programa Tesoros Coloniales, this is not the case for the heavily indigenous Pueblos Mgicos or the Programa Mundo Maya (Secretara de Turismo, 2004c; 2004e; 2004f). Rather, in the Mundo Maya program attention is focused on the rescue of archaeological zones and sustainable development, with no reference to the living Maya or their culture. Living people are being trashed in the interest of capitalist development, and, as Marxist theory constantly reminds us, this is an integral part of capitalism. Tourism in Mexico has been a success in terms of promoting foreign currency earnings, providing employment, and decentralizing migration flows. Mexicos dependence on the United Statesthe largest tourist-sending country to Mexicoand on international lending organizations has, however, increased since tourism development was initiated in the 1970s. The toll taken on those working in low-waged and seasonal jobs should not be underestimated, and their de facto segregation from those who enjoy the tourism facilities should be underscored. Their fight for survival in the context of structural adjustment policies and periodic economic crises has forced many into poorly remunerated jobs in the tourist industry. For those who work in low-waged jobs in the industry, in essence exploited by tourism capital, both foreign and national, the solution, if it does not lie in unionization, may have to be found outside the existing capitalist regime.

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