Nature-based tourism provides an opportunity for economic development and can act as an impetus for biodiversity conservation for communities, depending on their ability to initiate and manage it successfully. A case study undertaken in three communities in Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, explores the institutional conditions present in the communities and uses this information to assess the prospects for nature-based tourism. The case study is primarily based on a large-scale household survey and is supported by semi-structured interviews. Principal Component and Cluster Analyses are used to determine the extent of social capital present in the communities and amongst endogenously determined clusters. Significant differences in types of social capital may contribute to an explanation of the current organization of nature-based tourism and provide insights into future prospects for tourism. Implications of the social capital analysis are considered along with recommendations needed to create an environment conducive to nature-based tourism development.
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