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Over 1,000 Airbnbs On Cozumel Found To Be Operating Illegally 

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Cozumel has no shortage of hotels and resorts, but it has almost as many Airbnbs, which are popular among travelers visiting the destination.   

Airbnbs offer several benefits to travelers, particularly those who visit a destination for an extended period.   

While there are plenty of great vacation rentals in Cozumel, though, over 1,000 Airbnbs on the island were found to be operating illegally. 

Vacation Rental in Cozumel, Mexico

Illegally Operating Airbnbs In Cozumel 

According to a recent report from a local businessman on Airbnbs in Cozumel, there are more operating illegally than legally.   

In the report, it says that there are nearly 1,500 room accommodations listed on the Airbnb platform.  

There are 1,400 that are not legally registered, which means that they are not regulated by the same laws as hotels.   

Colorful Cozumel Sign Surrounded by Palms

Airbnb Vs. The Hotel Industry 

When hotels rent rooms, they have certain obligations that have to be met.   

They have to collect certain taxes from guests that get turned over to the government and they have to ensure the safety of guests staying in them.   

These regulations cost hotels money that Airbnbs aren’t forking over, which, according to one local businessman, results in unfair competition.   

Beautiful Private Home Swimming Pool Overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Cozumel, Mexico

What Illegal Airbnbs Mean For Guests 

Not paying taxes is not the only problem with illegal Airbnbs.   

There are concerns for guests who stay in them too.   

By not being regulated there is no way to tell if owners are keeping up with certain safety guidelines either, like having efficient locks on doors, having smoke alarms installed, and providing guests with someone to contact in case of an emergency.    

Rental building in Cozumel

What Types Of Travelers Use Airbnbs 

Airbnbs are great for anyone looking for more room to spread out, cook their own meals, or share accommodations with a group.   

They are also perfect for digital nomads who need reliable internet and a dedicated workspace to carry out daily tasks.   

These are the kinds of travelers you’ll most often see staying in Airbnbs instead of a hotel.   

Travelers Walking Down a Cozumel Street

The Airbnb Cost Factor 

Airbnbs can also be cheaper than a luxury hotel or resort, so some travelers rent Airbnbs for this reason.   

In Cozumel, Airbnb rentals start at as little as $50 a night.   

For a highly-rated hotel in Cozumel, you’re more likely to pay upwards of around $150 a night, so the cost factor is something that many travelers consider.   

large rental home

Amenities Not Typically Included With An Airbnb 

While certain benefits come with booking an Airbnb, there are also some amenities that you might miss out on.   

This is particularly the case when comparing an Airbnb to an all-inclusive, which there are several of on the island.   

Butler, concierge, and room service, multiple pools, a private beach, and a selection of onsite restaurants to choose from are all amenities that you typically won’t get in an Airbnb.   

Cozumel dreams

Airbnb Booking Tips 

Even though there are illegal Airbnbs in Cozumel, there are plenty of legally operating vacation rentals too, so if you want the space and privacy of an Airbnb you shouldn’t be deterred from booking one.   

The important thing is to follow a few tips that will help you get what you want and find a safe Airbnb to rent.   

First and foremost is to read a lot of reviews from other guests.  Not only does this give you confidence in the host, but lets you know that the rental is legitimate too.   

You’ll also want to verify that the location is somewhere near where you want to be, and in a safe place.   

Last but not least, avoid communicating or sending any money outside of the Airbnb platform.   

Following these tips will help ensure a better, and safer, Airbnb experience.

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kathryn kennedy

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Airbnb in the US collects the taxes and then pays the government and local towns the fees. They should be doing this for every country/airbnb.