The safety of online vacation rentals in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean has been a hot topic over the past years as platforms like Airbnb continue to see a surge in new apartments. Authorities in the region’s most visited city are in the final stages of implementing new regulations to make Airbnbs safer for travelers. Most notably, online rentals will only be allowed to operate under strict guidelines in certain areas, impacting availability for travelers.
Officials are increasingly concerned over the lack of regulation as the number of Airbnbs rises to an unprecedented level across Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. This week, authorities announced new plans to restrict Airbnbs to certain locations in an attempt to reduce cases of unsafe or unsanitary online rentals, which have also been on the rise.
According to the Quintana Roo Commission for Tourism, a lawmaking body belonging to the state parliament, a number of locations are unable to meet basic safety standards for online rentals. As a result, new regulations will clarify exactly where Airbnbs will be allowed to operate based on several factors, including crime rates.
Under the new guidelines – which are expected to be published soon following months of planning – online rentals will also have to comply with the same regulatory framework as Cancun’s resorts and hotels. The goal, lawmakers say, is to level the playing field, putting an end to unfair fiscal advantages and tax evasion.
Airbnbs and other vacation rentals will also have to meet stringent health and safety regulations, much like the rest of the local hospitality industry does. In order to legally operate, Airbnbs must acquire the appropriate licenses and permissions that certify compliance, a costly and time-consuming requirement.
In the future, it is expected that online vacation rentals will only be allowed to operate in central, high-density areas where crime rates are lower, and law enforcement is present. No limits currently apply to where Airbnbs can operate.
The new regulation is great news for the local hospitality industry, which has pressured authorities to implement strict laws to curtail tax evasion. Once the new framework comes into effect in the near future, travelers will find less availability compared to before, potentially increasing hotel occupancy levels and, as a result, average nightly rates.
Cancun Sees Record Number Of Online Vacation Rentals
Airbnb is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate across Cancun and other Mexican Caribbean hotspots. Authorities recently reported that there are more than 35,000 registered online rental units in Quintana Roo alone, offering nightly rates ranging from $44 to around $100 a night.
There are several reasons behind the platform’s astonishing growth figures, such as cheaper rates, greater flexibility, and larger living spaces. While Airbnbs provide several benefits when compared to traditional resorts and hotels, there are also notable downsides that range from a lack of safety features to a higher risk of online fraud.
Aside from Cancun, where the number of Airbnbs has exceeded pre-pandemic levels, online rentals are also proving to be a hit among travelers in places like Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Online fraud is one of the biggest risks when it comes to booking an Airbnb: there have been several high-profile cases that have gone viral in places like Cancun or Bacalar. If you’re planning on renting an Airbnb on your next Cancun vacation, be sure to follow these essential safety tips before, during, and after your trip.
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