The human race is obsessed with its own demise. We are mesmerized by tragic events, particularly natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, and hurricanes. There is not a country in the world that has not experienced some catastrophic natural disaster. In 2011 alone, there was Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, another earthquake in New Zealand, the twister outbreak in the US, and massive flooding in Australia, all which contributed to making 2011 “one of the costliest years for natural disasters” (Llanos, 2011). Natural disasters show no prejudice; they can affect anyone, in any country, at anytime. Therefore, it is not surprising that the end of the Winter Solstice marking the end of the 13th Maya Calendar, on December 21, 2012 has generated an international interest.
The media has christened this event as the “end of the world” and although many scholars stress that the end of the 13th Maya Calendar this does not mean catastrophe, it is still considered an international phenomenon for the predicated results of mass destruction will affect the entire human race (Allsop, 2012). The social institute of the media has capitalized on the world’s obsession with death with the portrayal of this apocalypse through books, internet blogs and articles, movies, and commentaries. The movie “2012” depicting the shattering events in the year 2012, for example, generated a worldwide lifetime gross of $766,812,167 (Nash Information Systems, LLC, n.d.). Interest is rising in this fascinating prediction and more people will head off to Middle American to obtain information about the Mayans. Consequently, it is not surprising that Mexico, primary home of the Mayan Civilization, would also take advantage of and benefit from this event.
The end of the Winter Solstice will be a worldwide celebration, and the Global Heritage Fund, whose mission is to maintain rare cultural sites, has named 2012 as “The Year of the Maya" (Allsop, 2012). Mayan sites across Middle America will be featured in Mexico’s Mundo Maya Tourism Campaign in 2012 (Allsop, 2012). The tour connects the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tabasco, including 27 World Heritage sites in this area, more than any other country in the world (Albin-Najera, 2012). According to de Blij, Muller and Nijman (2012) this area is one of the world’s genuine cultural hearths, or foundation of major culture, referred to as Mesoamerica and it was here that the Mayan civilization evolved over 3000 years ago(p. 199). Based on unyielding tourism figures from 2011, it is estimated that 52 million tourists will experience Mexico in 2012 (Albin-Najera, 2012).
During 2010, there was a marked increase in travelers from Brazil, China, and Russia (Investment Properties Mexico, 2011). In December 2011, air arrivals increased 13 percent during which more than 1.07 million international tourists visited Mexico. There was a 10.6 percent increase in visitors from the US alone (eTurboNews,...