President Felipe Calderon pointed to Mexico's "enormous potential" for adventure tourism and called on the 31 state governments to find sources of investment to capitalise on the opportunity.
Upon inaugurating the 18th Adventure Tourism Summit, which will run until Friday in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Calderon emphasized the role of indigenous communities in the development of this segment of the tourist industry.
"We need for our natural resources, our enormous cultural wealth, to be able to be preserved with dignity (with) the income that adventure tourism provides, (with) the income that the national or foreign tourist leaves, and which specifically allows these communities to be able to get ahead," he said.
Although he did not mention it by name, the president acknowledged that the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, which took up arms in 1994, was a reflection of how fed up the indigenous communities felt after years of marginalization and inequality.
He insisted that the adventure tourism industry is a viable option for correcting the "terrible" inequalities among the indigenous peoples or the country's poorest, at the same time that Mexico's natural resources are being protected with mechanisms of sustainability.