Boat trips to see Whale Sharks are popular in areas of Mexico including Isla Mujeres and Cancun. The animals are slow-moving, often near the surface of the water and, as they feed mainly on plankton, pose no danger to divers. In the last five years, the popularity of whale shark snorkeling trips has grown tremendously.
With the problem of over-fishing affecting their livelihoods, many local fishermen began to operate whale shark tours with little or no experience of guiding or knowledge of the whale shark.
In 2008 the Travel Foundation identified that training in environmental interpretation, safety procedures and customer management would help guides ensure the safety and well-being of whale sharks during tourist excursions. This would also lead to a better experience for tourists.