After Deaths, Mexico Hoteliers Call for Airbnb, Rental Regulations

Sun shining down on a beach between cliffs in Cancun Mexico
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Local hotel associations in Quintana Roo, Mexico, are calling for complete regulation of vacation rentals, including Airbnb, throughout the state after a series of deaths associated with vacation rental properties.

Riviera Maya News reports that the Hotel Associations of Cancun (Solidaridad) Riviera Maya and the Center and South of the state, as well as the Tourism Director of Puerto Morelos and several directors for state inspection and boards of directors held a press conference calling for complete regulation after a series of tragic deaths raised fears that such incidents could taint the destination’s security image.

According to a separate Riviera Maya News report, an American family died in a rented condo in Akumal due to toxic gas poisoning from the property’s water heater. The family had rented the property from March 14 to 21, and family members became concerned when they failed to return to the United States as scheduled on March 21.

On October 20, 2017, two tourists from Argentina were caught in a gas explosion in their vacation rental apartment in Playa del Carmen. They later died of their injuries, according to Riviera Maya News.

“The unfortunate events that occurred a few months ago in Playa del Carmen with Argentine tourists, and recently in Tulum with the death of the family, reveal how vulnerable we are to these events with a terrible security image,” Roberto Cintrón Gómez, president of the Hotel Association of Cancun and Puerto Morelos, told Riviera Maya News. “It has been demonstrated that not only is the name of the destination vulnerable, but also the life of the people.”

Last summer, officials in Quintana Roo reached an agreement with Airbnb that would place tax regulations on the company in the destination. The agreement set a 3 percent state lodging tax on all Airbnb facilities, and was set to take effect October 1. An identical agreement also exists in Mexico City.

Gómez argued that full regulation is necessary to provide security for guests and to ensure fair competition.

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