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Citizen's eye on tourism: preventing corruption risks in the approval of tourism projects with environmental impact in the Riviera Maya

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Promoting entity

Bios: Political Participation and Development A.C.


March 2021 - October 2021

Type of experience:

Diagnostic space/workshop, monitoring, etc. / E-government/open government / Digital platforms

Objective of the experience

Prevent corruption risks originated in the approval and implementation of tourism developments with environmental impact in Riviera Maya, promoting and facilitating citizen access to public information of such projects.

Territorial scope

Municipalities of Quintana Roo

Thematic area

  • Governance
  • Education/training
  • Environment/climate change and/or urban agriculture
  • Legal regulations
  • Transparency and access to information

A large amount of the foreign currency that enters Mexico for the concept of tourism is captured by the state of Quintana Roo. Of this size and relevance is the theme of tourism in our territory, not forgetting that tourist activity is based on its natural attractions.

A very popular activity in the state, both by national and international tourists, is to visit the different tourist developments, in which thousands of people find a place for recreation and rest. However, these developments consume a large amount of resources and generate an ecological footprint in areas of environmental relevance, such as mangroves, wetlands, beaches, etc., and this would be greater if the existing regulations for environmental protection were not complied with. This regulation is based on permits and licenses necessary for the implementation of a tourism project, granted by municipal governments, to a large extent.

To carry out the approval of a project, it is necessary to have a series of permits and licenses, however, no municipality has made transparent all the licenses and permits involved in this process and the characteristics of each one, which generates opacity in the monitoring of these projects that civil society could carry out and causes a lack of legal certainty for those who want to implement a development of this type.

In this process, there are areas in which acts of corruption can be carried out, through which tourism projects with great environmental impact can be approved irregularly, putting at risk the right of people to a healthy environment for their development. and wellness. In addition, the damage they cause can affect not only people, but also other species and the balance of the state's ecosystems in general.

Citizen eye to tourism was the project through which, during the year 2021, strategic elements that make up the approval process of 21 tourism projects with environmental impact in ten municipalities of the state of Quintana Roo, in the Riviera Maya area, were monitored. looking for the methodology to be easily accessible to citizens (in language and technical use), as well as replicable through pre-existing tools of public access, that is, using the means of transparency and access to information and developing capacities for social control to ensure constant monitoring.

Additionally, this citizen methodology was replicated on 6 occasions to monitor another 6 projects, and in conjunction with a Dialogue Session held with experts in the field (government, private sector, journalists and academia), an Action Plan was designed that today Today it is being implemented in 4 municipalities to make the process of approval of tourism projects transparent, and with this, generate public information to monitor said projects and ensure the minimization of the environmental impacts they generate.

This project was also awarded second place in the country (and first place in the state of Quintana Roo) in the National Award for Social Comptrollership held by the Ministry of Public Administration in 2021.

More information:

¿Qué es Ojo ciudadano al turismo?