TUI Colourful Cultures Mexico

TUI Colourful Cultures Mexico aims to support the integration of the indigenous Mayan community into the value chain of tourism and create an ambassador brand for the state of Quintana Roo. The brand will reflect local and national cultural identity, promote sustainable tourism and create a line of products produced by independent artisans and small businesses benefiting marginalised groups and the local economy.

Economic development in the Quintana Roo region of Mexico has traditionally been heavily based on mass tourism and foreign investment. Alongside this, local indigenous communities have started to become economically marginalised, leading to socioeconomic inequality and a loss of cultural identity.  

The project will focus on two areas. Firstly, the conception and positioning of the newly developed brand character Way Tun as a tourist and cultural ambassador of Quintana Roo and its indigenous communities. Secondly, the creation of a line of Way Tun tourist products produced by micro, small and medium-sized local companies, as well as by artisan communities from the region.

Today’s modern Quintana Roo culture revolves around beautiful sun swept beaches and hotels. But much of its rich, longstanding regional history is being lost as many people from rural communities migrate to the cities to find work and leave their roots and cultural background behind.

Alongside this, the discrimination which still exists in Mexico towards those of indigenous origin, means that people can feel ashamed of their origins and miss out on learning about and keeping cultural elements such as speaking Mayan or learning an artisanal technique.

In Mayan communities, more than 3000 people are employed to make artisanal products, and according to the Mexican Secretary of Economic Development, 80% of the artisans in Quintana Roo are women.  However, those who stay in rural communities find that their work isn’t valued or paid competitively. Reports from the National Women's Institute indicate that one of the biggest problems faced by female artisans is the commercialisation of their merchandise due to lack of business knowledge, lack of geographical mobility and little or no regulation on the purchase and sale of artisanal products. Artisans in rural communities also find it difficult to access to high quality materials and find new suppliers.

TUI Colourful Cultures Mexico aims to address these challenges by creating a sustainable business model that promotes cultural identity in the region and fair trade for artisans. Technical support and skills training will be provided to seven Mayan communities which include ten independent, indigenous artisans and twenty female artists. Through the creation of an ambassador character, “Way Tun”, indigenous Mayan cultures will be represented and preserved, and artisanal products sold under one brand identity.

The Way Tun brand will be legally registered and copyrighted, and promoted at international tourism events, festivals and fairs. This will link artisans with more profitable markets and sales opportunities for their local, handcrafted goods.

Project Partner

Donia Way’s mission is to create and develop tourism and cultural promotion projects that share and promote the reach and conservation of cultural elements (human, ecological, artisanal, historical, gastronomic and others). Its main project Donia Way is the ambassador brand of Yucatán and the organisation focuses on promoting Yucatecan culture through digital content and artisanal products.

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