Skip to Content

Playa Del Carmen Clamping Down On Street Vendors This Winter

Share The Article

Last Updated

Winter holiday shopping is in full swing among locals and tourists in Playa del Carmen. Along with the influx of shoppers has come an increase of informal merchants, also known as vendors by tourists.

Unfortunately, the additional vendors competing for customers has also brought some common issues that travelers have reported when shopping with vendors.

Allegations of aggressive sales tactics and misrepresentation of products have the local officials in Playa del Carmen once again clamping down on the vendors in the popular beach resort destination.

Playa del Carmen Shopping District

Working With Vendors

The Director of Industry and Commerce in Playa del Carmen, Gabriel González Ornelas, said his organization is trying to work with the vendors to find a happy winter holiday balance between having the vendors properly registered and providing good service with the need for them to make money to support their families.

However, with the winter holiday travel season hitting its peak, the number of vendors on the streets and avenutes of Playa del Carmen has expanded in numbers. This has made the work of González Ornelas even busier.

Hat Vendor on a Playa del Carmen Beach

Some have declared that they only plan to be in the main tourist areas for the season, while others are testing out the possibility to be there on a more permanent basis serving the tourists on their vacation getaway.

Director González Ornelas and his team have been working on making sure the vendors have the proper permits and customer service skills in place to provide a memorable experience to the winter guests enjoying Playa del Carmen.

Unfortunately, there are several that are avoiding the process and causing issues with harassing the tourists to make sales. Those are the ones that the Department of Industry and Commerce is focused on to improve the tourist experience.

Quinta Avenida - Playa del Carmen

The good news is, according to reports, there currently are really only ten to fifteen vendors that are the repeat offenders that are causing the issue for travelers on their winter vacation getaway.

Tourist Experience Focus

The focus of all agencies involved, from the Department of Commerce and the Street Commerce Ruling Committee to the Tourist Police is to ensure that tourists have an enjoyable shopping experience while allowing the legal vendors to provide for their families.

Vendors Set Up Along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

For now, properly licensed vendors are permitted to present their goods to visitors mainly on fifth and tenth avenues or on Juárez and Constituyentes. Those areas tend to have the large collection of tourists and good locations for shops and vendors to sell their items to travelers.

Additionally, vendors are encouraged to participate in the Christmas markets, of which three have received permits to operate in Playa del Carmen. There they can be in a larger area that normally would attract more tourists due to the number of items for sale.

The only drawback from those locations is some of the markets want to charge vendors to sell their items in the organized marketplaces.


What Tourists Need to Know

Tourists can support the efforts to provide for the vendors, but also encourage their permitting and dedication to good customer service, by shopping for items in designated tourist zone shopping areas in Playa del Carmen.

This includes the Christmas marketplaces set up in the area, along with shopping districts on fifth and tenth streets as well as on Juárez and Constituyentes.

peaceful tourist street in playa del carmen

Supporting these areas encourages vendors to follow the rules to provide good customer service to tourists as well as have the required permits to operate a business in Playa del Carmen.

By working together, travelers and local officials in Playa del Carmen can guarantee a positive winter holiday shopping experience for the locals, guests, and, of course, the vendors working hard to support their families during the winter holidays.

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.

Murray Gordon

Saturday 6th of January 2024

While most of this article seems accurate, there are some surprising factual errors. It leaves me wondering if the author has actually been to Playa del Carmen. Mr. Timmons refers to Fifth and Tenth "streets." They are in fact avenues, an important distinction. Streets run one way and, with a few exceptions, avenues run at right angles. On top of that, both are well known and Fifth Avenue, or Quinta Avenida, is probably the most famous street in the city. Mr. Timmons also refers to two avenues that are main arteries in the centre of the city, Juarez and Constitucion. Benito Juarez is correct, but as far as I know there is no street named Constitucion. I believe he refers to Avenida Constituyentes.