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Hacienda Hotels And Other Ironies Of Luxury In Yucatán, Mexico

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Chapter Summary

Hacienda tourism is a form of cultural tourism that has developed in Yucatán, Mexico, since the 1990s and is something quite distinct from the two other easily definable modes of tourism in the region: Cancún based beach tourism, and colonial cultural tourism, based in Mérida. Hacienda tourism geographically, thematically, economically and ideologically mediates the other forms of tourism available in the Yucatán Peninsula as it offers luxury getaways with a historical, cultural flavour to a niche market. Hacienda tourism is not based on the commodification of the 'Maya' as a culturally marginal and exoticized other as in the typical mode of so-called 'ethnic tourism'. The focus is destination-driven: the hotel itself. As such, the development of hacienda tourism is centred on property and tied to the restoration of plantation houses and outbuildings that served as production and population centres for the intensive cultivation of a rope-like fibre known as henequen.

Keywords: Cancún; cultural tourism; Hacienda hotels; luxury getaways; Mérida; Mexico; plantation houses; restoration; Yucatán



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