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Hotel leaders fear new tax, natural tragedies affect tourism

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The hotel association fears that the new lodging tax combined with the natural tragedies will result in a complicated year for tourism.

According to hoteliers, the new tax combined with the recent natural tragedies of Mexico are two factors that could affect the end of the year in the local tourism sector, which despite its increase compared to 2016, is static and projected to be difficult in the last quarter of 2017.

Jean Agarrista, President of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, explained that although occupancy numbers through August indicate that Riviera Maya has grown over last year, “throughout the month of July, August and September, reservations for the destination have lagged, although it is slightly above last year.”

“October is worrying because reservations have not started well and we could be experiencing a situation similar to last year with even lower reservations. It all depends on what is happening with those making decisions to vacation or not, which is impacted by the national and international events that are on the table,” he said.

He explained that people are focused on work, family and in many cases, the trauma that has occurred with many people in the country.

Jean Agarrista says,”We think that by the end of the year, people will come less to vacation here because they are more dedicated to their families and work than traveling. We expect material recovery to be done quickly, but emotional recovery is complex and complicated as you can understand.”

In regard to the new lodging tax that began October 1, he said “We hoteliers have always said that taxes are not at all friendly with tourist activities, especially in terms of promotion. We hope that in matters of fiscal taxation, a little reflection will be done in such a way that our leaders can understand that we are not currently in a situation to be taxed.”