While resorts and hotels dominate the accommodation market in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, the surge in online vacation rentals has been staggering over recent years.
Online platforms like Airbnb now make up a significant portion of all accommodations across the Mexican Caribbean, with around 41,000 rooms available on the market for short or long-term rental.
Travelers are increasingly keen on booking them, with many preferring the flexibility and authenticity – not to mention affordability – offered by online rentals.
Holbox Among Most Popular Destinations For Online Rentals
Mexican Caribbean officials recently launched a comprehensive study on the popularity of online vacation rentals in the sun-soaked region.
While vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes, most are offered through websites and apps like Airbnb, which dominates the market, although social media websites are also popular venues for rentals.
According to preliminary results, the paradisiacal island of Holbox currently ranks as the best-performing destination in terms of occupancy rates for online rentals. With some 73% of all available rooms being occupied on average, the island has become a hotspot for travelers seeking a piece of their own Caribbean heaven.
Cancun currently ranks as the second-most popular location for online rentals, with 69% of all rooms rented out on average. The resort hub currently has an inventory of around 11,000 online rentals, many of which are located in the city’s downtown area.
Meanwhile, Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, is in third place, with some 67% of all vacation rentals in use at any given time.
The most successful rentals are often found in prime locations, such as close to the beach, and offer stunning views of surrounding nature. Online rentals situated in central locations also perform well, offering direct access to the bustling culture of places like Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Despite the impressive surge in Airbnb-type bookings in recent years, analysts expect resorts and hotels to continue outperforming online rentals. With their winning combination of comfort, safety, and practicality, all-inclusive is still king in the Mexican Caribbean.
That said, online rentals come with unique perks: they’re considerably more affordable than the average resort, and in some cases, travelers can get a lot more bang for their buck. Many rentals also offer excellent privacy, with stunning gardens, rainforests, and even waterfalls.
Online Vacation Rentals Surge In Popularity On The Back Of Competitive Rates
According to the Quintana Roo Secretary for Tourism’s latest report, the average nightly rate for an online rental is around 1380 Mexican pesos, or $73.
While the price is much lower compared to all-inclusive, travelers have to account for airport transfers, food & drink, as well as activities when tallying the final price of their next Mexican Caribbean getaway.
Online rentals also have some significant drawbacks compared to resorts. Unlike resorts and hotels, Airbnb operates without strict regulations and guidelines in such essential matters as safety and hygiene.
Inexperienced travelers run the risk of booking a property in crime-prone areas, which could greatly increase the risk of break-ins, theft, and even violent crime.
Online scams and fraud remain major issues affecting travelers, especially those booking rentals from unlicensed or even fake operators, who can end up conning visitors of their well-earned money.
Even though officials are working on enacting stricter regulations, it’ll still take some time for the industry to respond, and in the meantime, it’s up to every traveler to decide which type of accommodation suits their needs best.
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