"Can Ecotourism Rescue Tourist Destinations?"

"Ah, Cancun in the winter. Warm sun, clear skies, cool drinks and…

Hey… what happened to the sand?

After focusing on tourism while turning a blind eye to the beach’s underpinning ecosystems for more than three decades, Cancun and its celebrated white sands are washing away. This Caribbean barrier island became a veritable who’s who of five-star hotels with the Ritz Carlton, the Hyatt Regency, the President InterContinental and a host of others squeezing for space across the entire 12-mile sandbar. Now it is so bogged down by development that it can no longer withstand the seasonal ebbs and flows of its native sands.

Some scientists say it may be too late to restore Cancun. Its degradation is so severe it spawned a new noun: the “cancunization” of marine coastland."

Alice Kenny reports for Ecosystem Marketplace January 22, 2010.

Source: Ecosystem Marketplace, 01/26/2010