Revista Ara

Abandoned Spaces and the Myths of Place: Tourist Pioneers on Mexico’s ‘Mayan Riviera’

The creation of existential spaces, as part of the fabric of environmental history, is seen clearly in the accounts of the Caribbean coast of Mexico, today’s state of Quintana Roo, known as the ‘Mayan Riviera’. Over time we see: first, a ‘wilderness’, discovered by archaeologists, second, a ‘natural resource’ frontier of chicle extraction for the manufacture of chewing gum, third, an commodity, as theme park, leisure complex and cruise liner. The paper leads us to question ‘space’ and ‘place’ within the lexicon of global tourism, and to suggest the importance of historical context in explaining the consumption of space. Key Words: Tourist pioneers, Mexico, consumption of space, ‘Mayan Riviera’.

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