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State begins regulation talks with Airbnb Cancun, Riviera Maya

Cancun, Q.R. — The secretary of tourism says that talks with vacation rental platforms has begun in an attempt to regulate them.

Secretary of Tourism Marisol Vanegas says that they have begun talks with Airbnb and made proposals to ensure the operations are legal and safe.

Marisol Vanegas

“We have sat down with the representatives of the company and we have made proposals to regulate the operation from the tourist point of view,” she says, adding that the Secretary of Finance and Planning (Sefiplan) as well as the municipality and civil protection will be involved.

“These are issues that interest everyone so that the accommodation option is legal and in accordance with what the destination requires. What we have asked is for them to consider two fundamental aspects of which one is to define a municipal polygon where there can be safe transport services that give certainty to tourists late at night.

“Given that there is no limit in the polygon defined by Airbnb for Cancun, we have options in many places that we think may be a problem for security or mobility.

“The second issue,” she explained, “is the number of days that they can operate per year before being considered a commercial activity,” which she says, will be 120 days.

Vanegas Pérez said that the University of the Caribbean did an exhaustive study at the request of Sedetur. The results of that study have already been discussed with Airbnb which has led to the condition of them only operating for a specified number of days per year before being considered commercial.

“After day 120, the vacation rentals would no longer be considered a complement to your finances, but would be considered part of a business which as such, should have an operating license, Civil Protection certificate and everything else necessary just like any of the other accommodation option,” she explained.

She noted that the 120 days of operation are not consecutive. “It is a number of days a year that is not consecutive,” adding that “it is a proposal that we are evaluating with Airbnb itself since it works in other cities.” On day 121, she said properties that are not in compliance would be blocked on the platform.

Marisol Vanegas also said that Airbnb is not the only vacation rental platform, adding that, “there is not only that platform, but other new brands that are entering the region and that all this confirms that we need to issue a system of regulation of non-hotel accommodation options.”