Camerino Alejandro Montiel, Angel Galmiche Tejeda, Marivel Domínguez Domínguez, Joaquín Alberto Rincón Ramírez


The impact of ecotourism on the Natural Reserve Agua Selva, Mexico, was assessed. Changes of land use in the forest were evaluated.  An analysis of some socio-economic and cultural changes in the community since ecotourism was introduced was carried out. The perception of villagers towards ecotourism is also presented. The analysis was made with satellite images landsat type (sensor MSS and TM) obtained in 1976 and 2000. Cartography and farm plots were also used for the analysis of land use changes. Socio-economic changes were analyzed based on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The introduction of ecotourism in the area of study had both positive and negative effects. Although ecotourism did not reverse the deforestation processes, the general deforestation rate was 0.49%. This is smaller to reports in literature for other zones in Tabasco with similar characteristics in the same period of time.  It was found that there was a positive change of Villager’s attitudes towards ecotourism in the last 15 years. This is mainly because this activity is a source of income and has become progressively more important compared to other rural economic activities. It was found that the community participation is scarce and thus has caused problems in the management of specific projects. The results of this research suggest that the success of ecotourism in Agua Selva depends on the integration of ecotourism with the other agricultural and social programs implemented in the area. Implementing agricultural development programs not linked to ecotourism activities can lead to deforestation which is the reserve’s main attraction.


Ecoturismo; uso del suelo; cubierta forestal; Agua selva; Tabasco


Copyright (c)