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Mega-Popular Mexican Caribbean Attraction Receives United National Tourism Honor

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Mexican Caribbean was presented a high honor recently for its efforts to protect and preserve the cultural heritage in this region of Mexico.

The award honored Grupo Xcaret, the holding company for the popular Xcaret park in the Mexican Caribbean, was presented to architect Miguel Quintana Pali, the visionary behind the tourist attraction beloved by many tourists on their vacation getaway.

High Tourism Honors

Families on vacation at Xcaret

The high international honor was presented by the Secretary General of UN Tourism, Zurab Pololikashvili, who recognized the important contribution Grupo Xcaret has made to welcome tourists to the Mexican Caribbean and enhance the total family visitor experience.

“Dear president of Grupo Xcaret, Architect Miguel Quintana Pali, I always call you president because you have built a truly exceptional place, which is one of my favorite destinations in the whole world,” Pololikashvili said in a report about the presentation of the honor. “I deeply recognize and value his dedication and achievements, and therefore we wish to highlight his career, which serves as an inspiration to many in the tourism industry.”

“Our purpose is to make the planet happier by spreading our great love for Mexico,” remarked Quintana Pali upon receiving the honor.


He also cited the proud heritage of sustainability exhibited at Xcaret, in addition to the cultural contributions made to preserve the traditions and heritage of the ancient Maya.


Some of the stories written about the presentation of the honor were quick to recall the sharp criticism inflicted on Xcaret by the current President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador one year ago.

View of the outdoor amenities in Xcaret Hotel Mexico

President López Obrador was highly critical of the company’s environmental history in the Yucatan, citing several issues that arose during the construction of an Xcaret park in Valladolid, Yucatán, called Xibalbá.

“They did what they wanted with the aquifers, with the underground rivers, with cenotes and no one said anything. There we have a theme park stopped, which they made underground, they even made a church below and completely altered the course of the underground waters, the cenotes,” said President López Obrador at that time.

Ironically, the nature reserve was named after the Mayan underworld, ruled by the Mayan death gods and their helpers.

Flamingoes Under the Xcaret Sign at Dusk in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Draw of Xcaret

Even with the sharp criticism of some alleged environmental degradation for the purpose of tourism, it’s hard to deny the important impact the Xcaret Group has had to attract and entertain travelers to the Mexican Caribbean.

Many people don’t necessarily travel to the Mexican Caribbean to specifically visit Xcaret, similar to the draw the Disneyland theme parks have around the world. However, once they arrive it is a favorite activity for many tourists to the area, especially families.


For many families, it is a fun and friendly introduction to some cultural awareness and connection to the Mayan culture, traditions and heritage. That’s what the United Nations award recognized.

What Travelers Need to Know

The United Nations award was an acknowledgment of the steps the Xcaret Group is taking to protect the unique and special cultural heritage of the Mayans in the Yucatan.

famous xcaret park in playa del carmen

By presenting the traditions and heritage in a fun theme park way to guests on their vacation getaway, Xcaret is truly making a difference in protecting the culture while driving tourism at the same time.

A debate can be held about the alleged environmental actions taken by the Xcaret Group related to tourism. That same debate can be held about the impact of the Maya Train on the region as well.

Ultimately, the positive impact of both controversial projects on tourism is definitely not up for debate in the region.

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