The leading industry on the Yucatán Peninsula  is oil. Produced by the nationally owned PEMEX, the oil industry is booming along the Gulf coast from Campeche  south into the state of Tabasco . Most of the oil is shipped at OPEC prices to Canada, Israel, France, Japan, and the United States.
Rich in natural gas, Mexico sends the United States 10 percent of its total output. Two-thirds of Mexico’s export revenue comes from fossil fuels. As a result, peninsula cities are beginning to show signs of financial health.
Yucatecan fisheries also are abundant along the Gulf coast. At one time fishing was not much more than a family business, but today fleets of large purse seiners with their adjacent processing plants can be seen on the Gulf of Mexico. With the renewed interest in preserving fishing grounds for the future, the industry could continue to thrive for many years.
Until the 1970s, Quintana Roo’s economy amounted to very little. For a few years the chicle boom brought a flurry of activity up and down the state—it was shipped from the harbor of Isla Cozumel. Native and hardwood trees have always been in demand; coconuts and fishing were the only other natural resources that added to the economy—but neither on a large scale.
With the development of an offshore sandbar—Cancún—into a multimillion-dollar resort, tourism became the region’s number-one moneymaker. The development of the Riviera Maya (extending from Cancún to Tulum)—and now, the Costa Maya (south of Sian Ka’an)—only guaranteed the continued success of the economy. New roads now give access to previously unknown beaches and Maya structures. Extra attention is going to archaeological zones ignored for hundreds of years. All but the smallest have restrooms, ticket offices, gift shops, and food shops.