You are hereHome › Hal Marcus College of Science & Engineering (CSE) › Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences › Meyer-Arendt, Klaus J. › The Costa Maya Style APAChicagoHarvardIEEEMLATurabian Choose the citation style. Meyer-Arendt, K. J. (2009). The Costa Maya: Evolution of a Touristic. Études Caribéennes, 13(14). Download PDF The Costa Maya Details Type Journal Article Title The Costa Maya: Evolution of a Touristic Contributor(s) Meyer-Arendt, Klaus J. (author) Located In Études caribéennes Volume 13 Issue 14 Date 2009 Abstract Only 50 years ago, Quintana Roo (then a territory, since 1974 a state) was described as “Mexico’s Empty Quarter” by geographer Clinton Edwards (1957). Except for the capital city of Chetumal (on the southern border), the population was sparse, including the indigenous Maya who were concentrated mostly in the neighboring state of Yucatán. Settlements at Isla Mujeres (site of a small naval base), Puerto Juárez (today part of Cancún), Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel drew a few adventurous tourists (Schell and Schell 1956). Since 1970, this Caribbean-facing edge of the Yucatán Peninsula has become the home of the leading single tourist destination within Mexico—Cancún—largely in response to a government-commissioned study to develop an “east-coast” resort destination to both counterbalance the Mexican Riviera on the Pacific coast and also to compete with Caribbean island resort destinations (Collins 1979). The growth of Cancún has been phenomenal, and Cancún’s zona hotelera has become the quintessential “gringolandia”, as noted by Torres and Momsen (2005) in a seminal article on the resort destination. Quintana Roo’s population increased tenfold between 1970 and 2000, from 88,150 to 874,963 (Torres and Momsen 2005). Cancún proper has exploded from 120 residents in 1970 (117 in Pto. Juárez and 3 on Isla Cancún) to over 600,000 today (Wikipedia 2009), and unofficial estimates place the population closer to one million.