Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

David Bray

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William Vickers

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer Gebelein

Date of Defense



A group of community members of the ejido X-Maben in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico are currently in the process of developing a community ecotourism enterprise (CEE) to attract both local and foreign tourism to a natural area within their ejido. Most definitions of ecotourism define the natural area of interest as a protected area and include the requirement of integrating local communities into the benefits generated by ecotourism in that particular area. However, few researchers have considered the case of community ecotourism where the natural area is on communal lands and the enterprise itself is fully community-owned. This project analyzes the institutional complexities of planning an ecotourism enterprise within the ejido of X-Maben, includes a stakeholder analysis, and involves a GIS analysis of the placement of nature trails in the ecotourism area. The thesis project also includes examinations of other efforts to establish CEEs elsewhere in Quintana Roo.





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