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Hotels Upset With Lack of Regulations Over Skyrocketing Airbnb Market In Playa del Carmen

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The real estate market in Playa del Carmen has seen a massive uptick in the last couple of years. A big part of that has been the rise in the vacation home rental market. Playa del Carmen boasts 11,600 vacation home units. According to the numbers provided by leading platforms like Airbnb. The area is home to about half of the total vacation homes that are up for rent in the entire Riviera Maya region. 

Playa Vacation Homes

The state offers around 21,400 rental homes for tourists to settle in during their stay in the state of Quintana Roo. On top of that, records from the national association of real estate workers, (AMPI) indicate that there are at least 500 new homes that are being built with the sole purpose of using them as vacation home rentals.

luxury homes in Playa del Carmen

In Quintana Roo the number of homes that are used for this purpose grew by about 24%. That’s more than double the national average for other tourists spots. Which sits at roughly 12%. Hotel owners, who potentially have the most to lose with this growing market aren’t all too happy with these numbers. They argue that the main reason why this industry has seen such rise was the fact that they are able to operate without the strict regulations that are set on hotels, and other lodging options. Francisco Madrid Flores, director of the institute for Tourism competition argues the lack of strict COVID protocols is largely responsible for the booming market. He mentioned, 

covid sign

“What we see is that the last few years these lodging options maintained positive occupancy rates. With vacations homes in Cancun keeping a 58% occupancy rate while Cozumel kept a 57.3% occupancy rate. The rest of the Riviera Maya (including Playa del Carmen) sat at a 53% occupancy rate.”                 

Vacation home with a view

What Hotels Were Looking At In The Same Time Frame

Another reason why the vacation home industry was able to flourish in hard times was the fact that hotels were operating at very low capacity through the pandemic. At some points during the last few years hotels were not able to operate at more than 30% capacity. This prompted certain facilities to opt for shutting down their operations until the regulations changed. 

Hotel Hallway

Operating some hotels at minimal capacity would result in higher losses for their parent companies. Compared to the losses they were taking by just keeping them closed. Hotels owners are enraged at the fact that they were not even allowed to compete with vacation home rentals. Enforcing COVID protocols on private owned homes, though, doesn’t seem like something that’s going to happen soon!  

Hotel In Cancun

Business Is Booming In Playa del Carmen & Nearby Regions Even Though Prices Aren’t Cheap

Currently, the standing 11,600 vacation homes that are located in Playa del Carmen usually boast a 75% to 85% occupancy rate. What experts mention is that these numbers are unlikely to ever reach 90% occupancy or literally no vacancy levels. As the actual homeowners tend to occupy their properties at certain points of the year as well. Which, means that effectively finding an empty vacation home in Playa, particularly during peak months can be a tall task. Especially if you don’t book your stay in advance. 

Hotel Entrance

It could be argued that the worldwide phenomenon that Airbnb became was largely helped by the fact that they tended to offer better rates for home rentals compared to what hotel rooms were going for at the time. These days though, it wouldn’t necessarily be accurate to call Rivera Maya vacation homes a cheap lodging option. Francisco Madrid Flores revealed that 2 room homes in Cozumel represented the low end of the spectrum. With the most expensive options going for 135 dollars a night. In the rest of the Rivera Maya including Playa del Carmen 2 room facilities can set you back north of 200 dollars per night.

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