Mexico 2018 | TOURISM | COLUMN

TBY talks to Martín Martinez, Director General of Cancun Golf Club at Pok Ta Pok, on the sector.

Martín Martinez

What has been Cancún's strategy to become a world-class sport tourism destination for both amateur and professional players?

We share this activity with the hospitality sector. The state government manages a trust with resources designated for the touristic sector and channels them into attracting people to Quintana Roo—Playa del Carmen, Cancún, and the rest of the Maya Riviera. We have an association of golf courses responsible for coordinating with the trusts and setting up links with the governmental institutions in charge of them.

How would you assess the collaboration between the public and private sectors to boost tourism?

Both are working on it. While it is not easy to rate the performance of the collaboration, the results speak for themselves. A significant percentage of the tourists we receive visit one of our 14 golf courses. This figure has slowly increased and is a positive indicator.

How has the sport evolved in Mexico in terms of players, courses, and access to the sport among different users?

Our 14 golf courses are public, which gives tourists and locals an opportunity to practice the sport and help develop the state. Today, we even have students who practice it. In other states, most golf courses are private, which limits access to the sport. But each day more people are starting to practice the sport and are seeing great results in terms of handicap.

What role does the Mexican Caribbean Golf Course Association play in this project?

The association is the first to want this course to remain because it is an icon of the sport in the area. The design of the course is unique because it has five holes around the Nichupté lagoon and two holes facing the turquoise Caribbean Sea. In another hole, there are two officially recognized Mayan ruins, which we preserve under the guidance of the National Anthropology and History Institute (INHA).