Volume 43, Number 168,
January-March 2012
Interstate Tourism Development
between Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas: Mexico
Marco A. Merchand Rojas

This section will briefly analyze the significance of the number of inhabitants and their occupation by economic activity, in the context of regional tourism evolution.

As shown in Table 1, the state of Nayarit registered a population growth rate of barely 0.63% in 2005, while the Southern Coastal region formed by the municipalities of Bahía de Banderas21 and Compostela saw rather unequal population growth rates. Compostela's population grew at a rather low rate of 0.93%, while Bahía de Banderas saw an elevated population growth rate of 7%.

Demographic growth in this region increased on average by 9.3% between 2000 and 2005. In 2005, the region showed 8.5% population growth. According to the Nayarit State Plan, this growth was due to migration into the region.22 The municipality of Bahía de Banderas is the greatest contributor to this indicator. In 2005, 52% of this municipality's population had been born elsewhere, a phenomenon that is directly related to tourism growth. According to data from the Nayarit State Plan, Bahía de Banderas receives a constant migration flow of approximately 10,000 persons annually, who then reside between the municipalities of Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas.

Puerto Vallarta has also seen accelerated population growth, with an average rate of 31% during the five-year period between 2000 and 2005. According to information from the National Statistics Institute (INEGI) concerning housing and population counts, the municipalities in the study with the highest percentage of population concentrated in urban areas are as follows: Bahía de Banderas with 77%, Compostela with 63%, and Puerto Vallarta with 97%. General data from Jalisco's and Nayarit's 2004 Economic Censuses regarding labor occupation by productive sector report that 88% of Puerto Vallarta's population is employed in the area of commercial activity and services dedicated to tourism. The same tendency is present in Bahía de Banderas, where 82% of the population is employed by the service industry.

The following statistics demonstrate the importance that tourism activity has in terms of infrastructure development in both municipalities. According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, 62% of lodging establishments in the state of Nayarit were concentrated in the southern coastal region (Compostela and Bahía de Banderas).23 Of these, 85% of five-star hotels were located in Bahía de Banderas, a region that also accommodated 59% of four-star hotels and 69% of three-star hotels. One-quarter of restaurants for tourists were found in this region as well. Puerto Vallarta had 44% of restaurants for tourists in the state of Jalisco, and accommodated 25% of the state's five-star hotels, 22% of four-star hotels and 17% of three-star hotels. Puerto Vallarta has 96% of the state's time-share condominiums and 34% of Jalisco's suites.

Hotel investment in Mexico during the last 20 years and in the region examined in this study has been focused on the number of rooms constructed. The following table shows which countries of origin are most important in terms of the number of rooms and hotels constructed in Mexico. What is missing is an estimation of how these numbers fit in with Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas, key sun and beach destinations.

21 The growth dynamic of the municipality of Bahía de Banderas is clearly reflected in its demographic density; it was almost over 90% in 2000. In the municipality of Compostela, this growth has surpassed service and infrastructure development, including hospitals, banks, highways, drainage systems, etc. It is important to note that the 2005-2011 State Development Plan, the Southern Coastal Region has an average 9.1% state and international migration rate, which is significantly higher than the state average of 4.8%. Specifically, 51.4% of the population living in Bahía de Banderas was born elsewhere. This statistic is directly associated with the municipality's tourism growth (Government of Nayarit, 2005).

22 2005-2011 State Development Plan, Government of the State of Nayarit.

23 In the Nayarit Riviera, tourism investment has resulted in the so-called real estate bubble, which in recent years has led developers to focus on constructing housing for wealthy and middle-class sectors. Among these diverse developments are memberships (suite properties), time-shares and classic hotel accommodations, restaurants and sun and beach activities. This has become the defined development model for the Southern Coast of Nayarit. There has also been construction in other commercial niches for lower-income sectors, made up of leisure migrants who contribute to tourism. This social group is growing, and as such is highly relevant, if we consider the scale of internal migration among Mexicans, and to a lesser extent, among foreigners who are employed by tourist enterprises.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 48, Number 191, October-December 2017 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Nov 13th, 2017.
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