Officials in the Mexican Caribbean are continuing to ramp up efforts to stem organized crime and scams that target travelers.
This week, authorities revealed more details about a new initiative that will protect travelers from fraud and fake tour companies.
With projections showing a record-breaking year for tourism in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, it’s more important than ever for officials to enhance safety, which increasingly includes crimes targeting online bookings.
As Cancun gears up for its busiest winter on record, here’s the latest on what’s being done to protect travelers visiting the sun-soaked region.
Officials Begin Rolling Out New Tourism Certification Requirements In Cancun
Cancun’s popularity continues to grow among travelers. The coastal destination has already welcomed over six million tourists so far this year, and that number is expected to grow significantly during the busy winter months.
Growing demand means that Cancun’s tourism industry is thriving, with hundreds if not thousands of businesses offering everything from accommodation to guided tours.
@mtinatravels Watch out for this super common scam at the Cancun International Airport! It isn’t scary or overwhelming if you are prepared, so just make sure you know what to expect! Like if you want more travel tips and tricks! #traveladvisor #cancun #traveltipsandhacks ♬ original sound – Martina | Travel Advisor
As more companies begin operating in the touristy region, officials want to ensure compliance with new rules aimed at protecting travelers from scams and other unfair practices. That’s why authorities are beginning to implement a new tourism registry, which gives policymakers and law enforcement a real-time overview of the region’s ever-growing number of tourism companies.
Nearly 2000 companies have already joined the new initiative, and hundreds more are expected to do so later this year. That number includes hotels and resorts that constitute around 80% of all rooms in Cancun.
@ericmartinmoney Are time shares worth it? #cancun #cancunmexico #cancunvacation #xcaret #xcaretmexico #timeshare #timesharesrscams #timesharetravellers #scams #scammers #scammed #scammeralert #scamalert #vacationscams #vacationtips #cancuntips #mexicotips ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box – takaya
The initiative, officially called the State Tourism Registry, was launched earlier this year as part of a wider effort to improve the quality, legality, and transparency of tourism services in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo.
Although most companies have already joined the system, more work is needed to include smaller firms. Officials are currently devising improvements to the registry to further boost transparency and decrease corruption.
@fakdpodcast Transportation/Shuttle Scams At Cancun Airport! #travel #scams #fakd #cancun #Mexico ♬ original sound – Joseph Rowan
In the long run, experts believe the new framework could help improve the quality of travelers’ vacations in the Mexican Caribbean, where scams and petty crime remain a major issue. Poor regulation and public oversight as well as above-average levels of organized crime have all been attributed as causes of the current situation.
According to Andrés Becerril, the sub-secretary for tourism operations in Quintana Roo, companies that fail to join the new registry could face economic and administrative sanctions.
@traveloffpath Don’t fall for this airport scam! . #travel #mexico #mexico🇲🇽 #traveloffpath #fyp #foryoupage #cancun #airport #scam ♬ Primal Fear – Drama Effect – Dave James
These Scams Are Affecting Travelers Right Now
Although officials in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have made great strides in bolstering safety, certain scams continue to plague the region.
According to experts, scams are increasingly affecting digital services such as online bookings, especially in the online vacation rental market. With several dozen thousand online rentals in the Mexican Caribbean alone, travelers have reported fake postings, hidden charges, and even identity theft.
@destinyezurs Let your friends know if they plan on going to Mexico ….#scam #mexico #cancun ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy
That’s why officials have launched several programs aimed at increasing awareness of rising rates of online crimes. Travelers are urged to book securely using official websites like Airbnb. Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook have become some of the most popular tools for last-minute bookings but lack many of the safety features offered by other alternatives.
When it comes to booking guided tours and excursions, booking online has several major benefits, including cheaper rates and the possibility to read traveler reviews. That being said, tourists are urged to check that their desired tour operator complies with all relevant safety regulations and certifications.
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