The (false) charm of Mexicos “Pueblo Magicos”


When people visit a magical town, they think it reaches a place of traditions, but in reality, it is an intervened space to attract tourism, “therefore, it can no longer be considered traditional,” said Álvaro López López, a researcher at the Institute. of Geography of the UNAM.

They are a representation of what in our imagination we consider to be “village” tourism. From the academic point of view it is called “disneyzadoDisneyization space, for having been modified to represent the image of the typical Mexican town, but from the perspective of the planners and managers of tourism.

Sometimes this vision is generated from referents that are found in photographs, in the cinema, or are known through stories or writings, he said.

In recent years magical towns have taken strength in tourism organization. Most of these locations are located inland, although there are coastal areas such as Loreto and Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur.

Image result for Todos Santos
Todos Santos

When a site receives this appointment, the Ministry of Tourism grants recognition that allows its dissemination nationally and internationally, he explained.

However, said the specialist in tourism geography, “this designation has a decisive impact on the transformation of local space, without the inhabitants decide or benefit.”

In general, historic centers are renovated to offer a pleasant image to visitors, but these arrangements make the space elitist, because when it is intervened, interest in buying or renting increases, which raises the cost; then the local population usually sells to go to retired places, without being favored with the tourist spill, he said.

Private capital enters (regional, national, even foreign), it begins to create an image and a different people, to which retirees come to live, mainly from the United States and Canada, or Mexicans from the middle and upper classes, he stressed.

Those who have properties in historical centers and have had the economic capacity to invest and offer tourist services, condition them as hotels, inns, and restaurants, or create a tour operator company to offer tours. “But those who do not have the possibility are often hired as employees in the places where they once lived.”

In addition, these policies benefit only some localities (those included in the list of magical towns), when they should be aimed at improving the living conditions of the population in general and the environments, in order to have spaces in which the customs and traditions, he said.

“It is not enough to paint some streets, put drainage in the historic center and fix the kiosk to have a magical town. It is necessary to exercise budget in the tourism field and be the local population who decides how to present their reality and how to insert themselves in this dynamic, “he concluded.

Source: updatemexico

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