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Unlicensed Vendors Are Being Removed From Tulum Beaches

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The conflict over potential clients in Tulum beaches continues to rage on, as regulated workers once again have called on local authorities to remove unlicensed vendors from their territory. Authorities have begun removing unlicensed vendors from public beaches like the Tulum National park beach, and the Punta Piedra area. Tulum beach, as it’s sometimes commonly known, is essentially the beach for the main hotel zone in Tulum. Competition between vendors naturally gets fierce in the area due to the high number of tourists that tend to frequent it. 

Seller on Tulum Beach

Regulated Vendors Are Making A Strong Push To Have Others Sellers Removed     

Even though local authorities have been removing these unlicensed vendors from these beaches, the regulated sellers in the area want to take things a step further. Arguing that it’s the job of the federal authorities to ensure the law is upheld in the National Park Tulum beach. Waldemar Vega Ayala the director of commerce in Tulum explained the issue saying that there should essentially be no street vendors roaming the beaches. They only have permission to sell to people on the actual street in certain neighborhoods, but not the beach. The director mentioned, 

Tulum Beach

“We patrolled the area because we’ve received multiple complaints (from regulated vendors), and we’re asking them politely to leave. Further down the line there will be more patrols in the area because we need to limit their presence on beaches. None of them have received a permit to be there. They are only allowed to sell their products out in the street, but not on the beach.”

Tulum Outdoor Store

Tourists Are Getting Better Rates From Unlicensed Vendors   

The people that may have more to lose from the removal of these vendors from the beaches are actually tourists themselves. Unlicensed sellers of traditional Mexican handcrafted products that many tourists purchase as souvenirs are actually selling their products at a lower price compared to regulated vendors. The argument is that regulated sellers have to pay taxes, and other fees to be able to set up shop on the beach. This should in turn give them the exclusivity to sell their products to beach going tourists. They can’t lower their prices because they have to cover higher expenses than what other street vendors have to deal with. A local regulated merchant, Olga Glanda had this to say about the conflict, 

selling on beach

“It’s not fair that we are being watched over all of the time to make sure that we are paying our dues. Meanwhile these unregulated sellers seem to be getting preferential treatment.”

Tulum Indoor Store

According to the regulated sellers there are at least 50 unregulated competitors selling potentially the same products on the beaches. In their view the competition isn’t fair because as mentioned before, these other sellers can offer lower price points to tourists thanks to the fact that they are not paying taxes or a fee to be able to lawfully sell their products on the beach.

vendor sells hat on street

The Other Side of The Story       

Tulum’s director of commerce stated a point that has actually been used in favor of folks who are selling without a permit. People on that side of things argue that the local government hasn’t been helpful or forthcoming to try and have more sellers obtain a permit. Instead, it’s been content to allow a set group of people to hold a monopoly over Tulum beaches. 

Swings in Tulum Beach

Promoting less than ideal competition between sellers is something that Tulum has a bit of a track record in. Particularly as it remains a city highly influenced by the taxi drivers’ union. High taxi prices in Tulum are something that’s well documented. The union hasn’t only been able to uphold the high prices, but they’ve also managed to keep ride-sharing apps from operating in the area. With all of this going on, picking a side in these arguments is a tall task. 

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