A Toronto-based company has been appointed to enforce the collection of Cancun’s mandatory tourist tax.
Quintana Roo, the Mexican state which includes popular travel destinations such as Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Playa Del Carmen, has doubled down on collecting its VISITAX after originally bringing it into law on April 1st, 2021.
With the goal of the infrastructure improvement tax to “help us protect our beaches and Mayan heritage sites”, the government is now mandating all tour operators, airlines, and other travel providers to collect the tax after it was reported that many tourists were simply not paying the fee.
Cancun International Airport is one of the busiest in the world, seeing an average of 500 flights per day in its most popular seasons.
With millions of travelers passing through its gates each month, it is clear why the enforcement of the tax seemed to be poorly managed due to the lack of staff and confusion around the legislation.
Once it had become clear that travelers who ignored workers in VISITAX shirts at Cancun International Airport could do so without any repercussions, there was little to be done in the way of enforcing the tax itself.
The original statement from Quintana Roo’s General Director of the Tax Administration service, Héctor Josè Contreras Mercader, about the tax reads:
“All providers of services related to activities provided to foreign tourists entering the State Of Quintana Roo are informed that in compliance with article 51- Octies of the Law of Rights of the State of Quintana Roo, any foreign visitor, upon entering the State of Quintana Roo, must pay a fee for the use or exploitation of real estate of the public domain of the State of Quintana Roo, with the exception of those who enter through the Southern Border of the Entity.”
Travelkore, based in Toronto, has since been appointed by Quintana Roo to automate the collection of the tourist tax via its payment platform in an attempt to deter travelers from thinking it is an optional fee.
Tim Scurry, CEO of the Torkore group of companies that includes Travelkore, admitted that the original legislation had not been clear about the tax’s mandatory nature, which left tourists and travel providers confused.
He stated that it was “quite an honor to be chosen as a unique provider of the fulfillment platform”, with the law now “abundantly clear” that the tax is mandatory, having been changed in December 2022.
Travelkore has now built a user-friendly system that makes the tax “east to pay, easy to process, and efficiently administered,” which gives each traveler a unique QR code that can be presented to customs at Cancun International Airport.
How Do You Pay The Tax?
The VISITAX can be paid through the Travelkore official website here and is the only approved site for the payment.
The payment system is also currently being integrated into the booking systems of airlines, tour operators, and other travel providers, who can reinforce the payment with their clients and handle the process so they don’t have to.
Through Travelkore, travel advisors will be able to earn a small fee per payment if they process the tax for their clients using a similar operating system that additionally allows for a transaction report, enabling them to invoice Travelkore each month.
How Much Is The Tax?
The VISITAX costs US$ 18.80 per person and must be paid by all non-residential visitors prior to their arrival at Cancun International Airport.
There is no available cash payment option upon arrival, and only those who are arriving via land through Quintana Roo’s southern border will not have to pay the fee.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Large groups of up to 10 persons can process the tax in one transaction adding to the easy-to-use nature of the website and making it hugely convenient for families and friends who are traveling together.
In addition to the payment process, Travelkore also provides health and safety support tools, Quintana Roo’s Guest Assist embedded link, and Nurse Concierge.
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