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The Number One Reason Some Cancun Tourists Are Choosing Airbnbs Over Resorts Right Now

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The beach destination of Cancun is well known for its luxury resorts full of amenities for travelers seeking plenty of fun in the surf, sand and sun.

However, more and more travelers are selecting to stay in the nearly 41,000 registered vacation rental properties dotted across the Mexican Caribbean region.

Why is this trend so popular with visitors to the Mexican Caribbean? Well, it often comes down to price.

Not Location, Location, Location

Cancun beach with tourists

A recent report indicated that the average room rate for resorts in Cancun was expected to rise more than 25 percent over what was seen as peak rates right before the pandemic.

Those increased prices have had many consumers trying to find ways to cut back their Cancun accommodation budget to fit in those fun Mexican Caribbean activities.

Even budget travelers were looking at extra low-cost hostel options off the waterfront to find some relief from high resort property prices.

It’s no longer always location, location, location for travelers to Cancun. Price is becoming an even bigger concern for visitors.

Aerial View of Downtown Cancun, Mexico

The concern over price is causing many Cancun visitors to opt for an Airbnb property because of a surprise substantial saving in the average room rate.

Budget Priced Airbnbs

According to recently released data from the Quintana Roo Ministry of Tourism, there are 40,814 active vacation rentals in the Mexican Caribbean state.

The average rate of those rentals, at least according to information reported to government officials, is $1,117 Mexican pesos per night, or roughly $66 per night.

A view of a pool in a cancun airbnb

Granted, that is the room rate that was reported and does not include additional fees. However, the average rate is still pretty low.

Questions abound on whether the vacation rental owners are underreporting room rates to avoid increased taxation or making a difference in cleaning fees and other charges.

However, $66 per night is substantially below the cost of an average resort room night in Cancun and other popular parts of the Mexican Caribbean.

The intense competition among vacation rental owners in Quintana Roo, especially in the Tulum area, has forced prices down, creating deals for those willing to select Airbnb properties.

Airbnb rental

Vacation Rental Occupancy Steady

Cancun leads the vacation rental market in Quintana Roo with a highly desirable location. Its nearly 11,000 vacation rental properties were nearly 60% full.

Meanwhile, Playa del Carmen was not far behind, with nearly 14,000 vacation rental properties in the hotspot with 55% occupancy.

Tulum came in third, with less than half of its 10,000 units occupied by travelers.

a street in Tulum

However, the fate of Tulum may be changing with the opening of the new Tulum International Airport in December.

Deals For Travelers

The good news for travelers is if they are willing to forgo the traditional resort location and amenities and select an Airbnb vacation-style rental in the Mexican Caribbean, they may be able to save some money on their vacation getaway.

There appear to be deals available for visitors that look for budget accommodations.

inside a beautiful online rental with views to the mountains

Remember, the $66 per night is an average, with some vacation rentals priced above and below that price level.

There are still a number of factors that will contribute to the rate charged at a vacation rental property.

Some properties may be cheaper or more expensive based on the age of the property, location of the unit, amenities offered by the owner and of course the amount of additional fees for a stay.

Budget-oriented travelers should definitely shop around and be flexible with location along with the amenities to get the best pricing.

Public Transport Bus in Cancun, Mexico

It may be worth looking for vacation rental properties a short way away from Cancun to find better deals. However, transportation costs need to be factored into the overall accommodation cost analysis.

Meanwhile, travelers should be aware that the opening of the new airport in Tulum in December should increase traveler demand, occupancy levels and of course prices.

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