HJDS Travel Group

Mexican President Calderon Uses Adventure Trend

by on Jun.05, 2012, under Travel

  • Sumo

Shows like ‘Survivorman’ and ‘Man vs. Wild’ are becoming explosively popular in the U.S. and Great Britain; among the TV-watching public in both countries, individuals who haven’t heard of or don’t regularly watch at least one of these shows are becoming difficult to locate indeed. Survivalist hosts such as Les Stroud and Bear Grylls thrill viewers by pitting their wits, skills, and constitutions against pristine wilderness far removed from any signs of civilization. Some tune in for the stunning natural landscapes; some to take notes; some just to see what disgusting thing the host might resort to eating next in order to survive. Whatever the reason, the global popularity of survivalism as a sport is rocketing upwards at an astonishing rate.

One can hardly then blame Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, who will be the host of a new PBS television series highlighting his country’s unseen natural wonders, for wanting to ride on the adventure tourism wave. In each 30-minute episode, President Calderon, assisted by co-host Peter Greenberg, leads an in-depth tour of one of his country’s hidden caves, murky depths, or unscaled heights, with the first episode depicting a thousand-foot descent into the Golondrinas cavern.

Underwater Caverns

On another episode of the series, the President and Mr. Greenburg trek to one of Mexico’s most unusual and haunting natural formations, the Big Blue Hole. Located near a series of coral reefs on the Yucatan coastline, the Big Hole is a circular depression formed by the roof-collapse of ancient underwater caves, leaving a 400-foot deep, dark blue hole resting in plain visibility on the floor of the sparkling, otherwise shallow sea. Many of the program’s advocates are pleased that the President of Mexico will be the one to present these amazing natural treasures to the world, serving an as example of the many ways in which Mexico’s unique terrain and heritage can still amaze the world.

Propping Up the Tourist Trade

Supporters of President Calderon say that the new series will prove to be beneficial not only to Mexico’s tourist industry, but also boost the Mexican citizenry’s pride and sense of national worth. Of course, opponents of the President are readily on hand to dispute the plan’s value, due to the troubles which Mexico’s Department of Tourism has experienced luring travelers to the country’s tropical shores. Many first-time travelers are reticent to make the journey to Mexico in light of headlines about widespread cartel violence, and convincing tourists to return for a second or third stay has become more of a problem in recent years. To offset this, the government has begun shelling out the advertising bucks to try and promote Mexico’s many virtues as a tourist destination.

Many of the President’s detractors view the series as a mere stunt, an expensive distraction that just happens to feature Mr. Calderon in a starring role. They argue that the idea of a TV series starring him seems to be more beneficial to the President’s prestige than to Mexico’s tourism industry, and some even allege that the production rises to the level of abuse of power.

As an example, the Democratic Revolution Party has declared its unambiguous opposition to the series’ production. The left-leaning Labor Party has also voiced its concern, along with a firm request for the government to disclose all financial records and expense reports associated with the television show. Many on their side of the political spectrum doubt the effectiveness or wisdom of the project, wasting scarce revenue at a time when the government has many more urgent priorities, and inappropriately facilitating an extended, island-hopping nature vacation for its top executive.

Backers of the President counter that the Mexican taxpayer isn’t bearing the burden of making the show, as the majority of the tab is being picked up by the U.S. government. Many remain skeptical, though, observing as anyone can the severe financial woes of the USA’s federal government, and eagle-eyed observers have also noted that Mexico is clearly on the hook – when the President and his co-host are shuttled around the country from one destination to the next, whose helicopter should they be flying on but the Mexican government’s!

Duende Tours operates active adventures to the Mayan World.People that like Mayan History should be tempted to look at our Mayan HistoryArticles.

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