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

When applied, these four factors are very illustrative, as they define and spatially delimit a region as a function of the relationships between these four factors. I also propose that to fully encompass the concept of a region, three interacting dimensions must be taken into account: local, national and international. These three places are, after all, where the strategies related to the four previously mentioned factors are put into action.

In order to understand the interaction between regional, national and international levels, this study will be based on the four factors that work together: multinational companies (hotel businesses that form networks), the national State, which must implement its tourism promotion "development plan"3 throughout the entire territory, the local (or state) State, which adapts national objectives to its own regional characteristics (building tourism enclaves), and the World Economy4, which encourages the national State to support the use of saved capital in the global value chain for tourist activities.

In the following six sections that comprise this study, it will be argued that the proposed definition of a region is based on the idea that each society organizes its own space and gives it a specific configuration. However, although different subsystems and regions vary by the type of social formation in question, these very social formations will depend on the characteristics and economic conditions that drive both the national and international models. To demonstrate how these social formations are organized in various ways, depending on the internal and external characteristics developed, we can turn to the case of Mexico. For example, the social-economic situation in the northern region of the country, where manufacturing companies are highly present, is very different from a coastal region whose economy depends on tourism.

To succinctly explain the purpose of this study in terms of the concept of a region, it is fitting to pose the following question: How can we analyze a local situation in a global context (world economy)?

To tackle this issue, we must be careful not to explain the economic reality of a region solely in terms of the national economic performance that surrounds it. Rather, we must take into account that internal economic dynamics are affected by changes that occur in the international environment. Thus, regions have become not merely subspaces of a national space, but also units of international space. In Mexico, there are regions that are economically more dependent upon foreign investment, such as regions that produce traditional agriculture commodities (blackberries, broccoli, etc.), as well as tourist enclaves that generate close ties with global value chains made up of multinational corporations, based in more developed countries (Merchand, M., 2006).

The importance of the national State also stands out, as it must favor the use of saved capital in the global value chain of tourist activities. In other words, as Harvey, D. (2007) explains, the sovereignty of the State over the circulation of goods and capital is turned over in service to the global market. For Harvey David, the crux of the issue lies in spatiotemporal solutions, because they generate demand, both from investment and consumption of goods in other places, such as tourist activity. To keep profitable opportunities available, access to cheap inputs is just as important as access to new markets. Thus arises the need to require territories not only to participate in trade (which is effectively helpful), but also to allow capital investment (hotel chains) in profitable operations using a labor force, basic materials, land, etc.

Throughout this study and in the conclusion, I will explain the central role that Mexican state intervention plays in shaping new tourist endeavors, through planning and spatial zoning (examples that illustrate such endeavors include the tourist complexes in Los Cabos San Lucas, Cancún, Nuevo Vallarta-Bahía de Banderas, etc.).

3 The tourism policies set in place by the Mexican government are more and more important in economic terms, because tourism is rapidly developing as a generator of capital (currently, this activity is one of the primary sources generating capital). Thus the State promotes raising capital by providing exceptionally favorable conditions for foreign investment. Foreign investment counts on sufficient legal guarantees to play a key role in sun and beach tourist destinations.

4 The world economy is an abstract concept. The International Monetary System (ims) and the International Division of Labor (idl) give this concept the effective reality of national States and exchanges between national economies. The effect that the world economy exercises over national economies, and the effect that main economies have over peripheral economies, can only be determined by modifying the operational rules of both the ims and the idl. Thus it is possible to deduce something fundamental: the strategies that national States can choose from to formulate their economic policies are defined by co-actions that are felt by the States through the ims and the idl.

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 194 July-September 2018 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,
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