Forbes magazine chose Cabo San Lucas (Los Cabos, Baja California Sur) as one of the 20 best destinations to travel in 2020. The publication not only recognized the stunning views of the sea and sunsets but also the first-rate activities such as golf, fishing and the regional gastronomy. The shared effort of the population, investors and government during the last decade has been recognized internationally, not only for the number of hotels or restaurants we offer but also for the quality and warmth that helps us stand out as the most thriving tourist destination in the country.
A recognition of such magnitude also represents challenges that affect both current and future residents, including the large number of tourists who visit us each year. We must focus not only on maintaining the beauty of the destination, which is already a titanic task, but maintaining the delicate balance of the three elements of our sustainability. With enough effort, we can be the number one destination to visit in the coming years.
The area where we possibly have the most work done is the environment. Numerous associations, residents and the government are constantly working to reduce the footprint we leave on the destination.
Through the reform of the Ecological Balance State Law, Baja California Sur became the first state in the republic to ban the use of plastic bags, expanded polystyrene containers, plastic straws and disposable containers in general. It is without doubt a great achievement that will benefit the destination and, once again, earn international headlines.
But our work is far from done. We must be aware and responsible for our waste. When it rains and during hurricane season, it ends up in the sea. We must appropriately treat our sewage and efficiently feed the aquifers. We can also plant trees, mainly in public spaces and along roads, to make it more comfortable to walk and encourage the use of non-polluting transportation options such as cycling. Working together, we can obtain wonderful results.
The most complicated issues of sustainability are social and economic, possibly because it is more difficult to understand how our individual actions can affect an entire established system. We can start with small steps such as buying our food in local stores, favoring small producers and eliminating the largest number of intermediaries in the acquisition process. Hiring local workers instead of importing labor and providing them with the social protection provided by law can gradually reduce homelessness as people will be able to afford decent housing. Increasing the professionalization of the population can make it easier for residents and families to finish school. One result will be the significant reduction of violence and other illegal activity once people can take advantage of the financial opportunities necessary to establish a decent quality of life.
The way the government can keep services and infrastructure working is through contributions from all the population, such as the payment of property taxes for those of us who acquire property here as well as joining the taxpayers list as required by national laws.
The use of companies, platforms and applications for the rental of our properties can generate very attractive income but we must be aware of how we manage our properties and how we can all benefit as a destination. The payment of income taxes, the generation of jobs and the registration of our vehicles make our destination work and, only in this way, can we improve day to day.
Los Cabos and, in general, our entire state is a wonderful place to live. The style, quality and standard of living that it offers statistically and qualitatively exceeds the national average and surely many international destinations. Today, I extend an invitation to all of us who are part of this community, regardless of the time we have lived here, our nationality or the number of days we tread this land as tourists: let us be responsible and aware of the place we love. The only way to preserve our destiny is to work together and each contribute our grain of sand.