Mexico to become “champion” of adventure travel?

Speaking at the United Nation’s Convention on Climate Change yesterday, Mexican President Felipe Calderón recognized the importance of tourism and adventure travel for preserving the habitats and culture of his country, even going so far as to say “Mexico has to become the champion of adventure travel.”

The presentation took place as part of Green Solutions@COP16, which is an event that is focused on finding eco-friendly methods for building an emerging economy in the 21st century. The keynote address for the conference was given by Shannon Stowell, who heads the Adventure Travel Trade Assocation. President Calderón, along with his Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara, also spoke discussing how adventure tourism can be an important piece for countries to not only grow economically, but also protect their natural resources, wildlife, and cultures in the process.

So, is Mexico the next great adventure destination? It certainly has plenty of amazing options for travelers looking to get away from the resort crowd and have a challenging and adventurous escape. For example, Baja offers great sea kayaking and surfing options, while the valleys near Oaxaca are great for mountain biking. High altitude enthusiasts can challenge themselves on Mt. Orizaba, an 18,491-foot tall stratovolcano that is the third highest peak in North America, while SCUBA divers and snorkelers will find plenty to love along the country’s more than 6000 miles of coastline. Additionally, there are caves to explore, trails to hike, and ancient cultures to discover as well.

Adventure travelers tend to be eco-friendly, always on the look out for an exciting new place to visit, and are willing to spend their money. It seems like Mexico hoping to take a bigger piece of the adventure travel market pie in the months and years to come.

[Photo credit: Mg-k via WikiMedia]