Is Tourism Ruining San Miguel?
San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful colonial era city that we all love. Who has the right to this city, the right to shape it into a livable space? Is it the hotel owners, the restaurateurs, the developers, the realtors and the politicians? How about the people, the ordinary people who make it their home? It is this group, civil society, that has been left out of the mix as San Miguel seems hell bent to promote tourism. Is tourism and development killing the goose that lays the golden egg? It has happened to other world tourism destinations.
Alberto Aveleyra, a Mexican anthropologist who appreciates how travel experiences can communicate the values of Mexico’s heritage, will address this danger and what ought to be the focus of responsible tourism policy in San Miguel. Aveleyra does consulting and training in tourism and culture topics through Artisans of Time, which he founded in 2008. For 15 years he has been guiding tours around Mexico. In 2010 he worked as an assistant manager in the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board. In 2011 and 2012 he was the cultural tourism coordinator of the State of Veracruz.
At a time when residents of this city have felt the impact of tourists flooding the centro, traffic chocking our streets, and new construction marring the cityscape, Alberto Aveleyra has become the conscience for responsible, sustainable tourism in San Miguel. He gives voice to a civil society that wants to take back our city. We have a right to the city too.
La Biblioteca Publica, Rejoj 50A, Centro
San Miguel de Allende, GUA 37700