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New Vacation Rental Law Will Help Keep Cancun Tourists Safe

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New regulations are coming to vacation rentals in the Mexican State Quintana Roo which includes the popular tourist destinations of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, and Tulum.

The announcement came late last week from the leader of the Quintana Roo Tourism Secretariat Bernardo Cueto Riestra.

What exactly does all of this mean for visitors to the area?

New Tourism Law Regulations

Airbnbs lined up on a beach in Cancun

Official Cueto Riestra said the regulation of vacation rental properties would level the playing field in the area’s lodging sector and guarantee quality and service to guests visiting the region.

The new declaration will bring vacation rental properties and the digital platforms that offer them in compliance with the State Tourism Law that the hotels and resorts in the area must follow.

According to Quintana Roo Tourism Secretariat Bernardo Cueto Riestra, a new registry will be created and the vacation rental properties and platforms in the area will need to register as tourism service providers.

A view of a pool in a cancun airbnb

Each municipality will be directly charged with verifying and complying with operating, security, and civil protection permits for the vacation rental properties and platforms.

Additionally, vacation rental properties will need to be registered in the Quintana Roo State Registry of Tourist Service Providers.

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Cancun ocean front resort hotels

Vacation Rentals Explode in Popularity

According to recent numbers, online platforms like Airbnb now make up a significant portion of all accommodations across the region, with around 41,000 rooms available on the market for short or long-term rental.

The most popular destinations in the area for vacation rentals are Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum and Isla Holbox, where the number of visitors greatly outnumbers the availability of resort hotel rooms available in the area.

Isla Holbox beach

Hotels and resorts in the area have long complained that the unregulated vacation rental properties are ripe for crime, fraud, and deceit causing visitors to Cancun and surrounding towns a negative guest experience.

They say the lack of vacation rental property regulation and supervision for items such as health and safety requirements have also put travelers to the area at a safety risk.

The fact that they were not subject to the same quality and safety standards was something the state and municipal governments have pledged to resolve for almost an entire year.

aerial view of a resort in cancun

The new tourism law will bring the vacation rental properties more in line with the requirements of the State Tourism Law, which regulates and oversees the safety and operation of the area’s hotels and resort properties.

What it Means for Cancun Area Travelers

For travelers to Cancun and the surrounding area in the State of Quintana Roo, it means they will be subject to the same requirements for staying at a local vacation rental property as if they were vacationing at a local resort or hotel.

Online rentals

It will mean additional paperwork and formal registration requirements upon arrival in the area.

It will also give travelers peace of mind knowing that the vacation rental property they are staying at must meet the same operations and safety standards just like the large hotels and resorts in the region.

It was not disclosed how much the additional paperwork, registration operations, supervision, permitting, and inspections would cost the vacation property owners.

Airbnb rental

However, visitors to Cancun and the nearby towns can expect their vacation property rental rates to increase due to the additional costs related to the new tourism regulations.

While vacation rental properties have often been priced lower than competitive hotels and resorts in the area, tourists will need to weigh the benefits of a vacation rental property with higher nightly rates.

Resort owners in the area hope that guests to the Cancun area will now take a more serious look at the value provided by amenities at resorts in the area in exchange for smaller savings at local vacation properties.

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Tuesday 12th of September 2023

complete bull$hit about keeping people more safe. An attacked by the hotels on homeowners who want to use their house for what they bought it for - an investment and income generating property. Also as a digital nomad, who lives for many months of the year and rents her place on Airbnb to cover the costs while abroad at five is completely disheartening because I’m not running this place as a business but I need to be able to rent it short term or longer short term and AirBnB and these sites are a way to find the right people to stay and have insurance and protocols in place to keep my home safe when I do rent it.


Saturday 9th of September 2023

To sum up, the hotel lobby bribed the state government to make life harder for the Airbnb owners and more expensive for Airbnb guests. The goal is to have less competition and to charge higher prices for staying in the hotels.

All the talk about "lack of safety standards" in Airbnb is BS. I visited many places in Quintana Roo multiple times and stayed both at "registered" hotels and Airbnb. There is no difference in safety standards. Airbnb is just as save. The fact that the Airbnb owners will have to fill out extra paperwork and pay extra fees won't make the visitors any more safe.

The end result will be that fewer people will be visiting the beautiful state of QR due to higher prices. And that's a shame.