Cancun, Q.R. — Vacation rental platform Airbnb has been given their first operating proposal for Cancun and Riviera Maya.
The proposal was delivered to the popular vacation rental company by the Secretariat of Tourism of Quintana Roo. According to the state secretary, the proposal outlines regulations for areas and timing in which the platform can operate in tourist cities of the state.
Marisol Vanegas Pérez, Secretary of State Tourism, said that the proposed regulations define areas in the tourist cities in which they can operate vacation rentals by definition of seasons, as well as a maximum operating limit of 180 days.
He says they would be able to operate only in certain downtown areas of Cancun or Playa del Carmen and for no more than 180 days a year. Vanegas Pérez says they are waiting for comments and a counter-proposal from Airbnb.
Vanegas Perez explained that there are “many” options for vacation rentals in areas of Cancun where the safety of tourists is not guaranteed. “Based on this criterion, we will define where and when the platform will be able to operate.”
The second regulation has to do with the fact that Airbnb assumes that its business scheme is based on a collaborative economy and that they complement the family economically, “But in reality this is not the case,” he said.
For those who have a house that they rent, it could work as a complementary income, but in Cancun there are not only buildings, but entire communities that are rented to tourists. This has caused the owners of the properties to evict the families that have lived there for years.
Vanegas Pérez noted that a specific case is Colonia Donceles 28 in Cancún, in which he says 70 percent is dedicated to vacation rentals.
“The concept of community disappears. The phenomenon is called gentrification, which has generated conflicts in other big cities of the world,” he added.
“We want to avoid this type of conflict, establishing not only the polygons of the rentals, but the number of days of operation. It is not an exclusive proposal for Quintana Roo. It works in other parts of the world,” he added.
Vanegas Pérez explained that for those who violate the limit of operating times, a fine would be applied directly to the platform since they are supposed to be a “collaborative economy” business scheme.
He says in addition to the new proposal, vacation rental property owners will be required to have an operating license. Approval by Civil Protection and payment of municipal services as a commercial property will be required by those that offer their properties for rent on a full-time basis.