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Airbnb listings a concern for hotels. Airbnb listings a concern for hotels.

Airbnb properties now rival hotel rooms in number, worrying hoteliers

Riviera Nayarit tourism organization wants to see a level playing field

The growth of Airbnb and similar digital accommodation platforms is cause for concern among hoteliers in the Riviera Nayarit, where a local tourism official says there are 16,000 hotel rooms and a similar number of Airbnb properties.

“. . . we calculate that there are just as many. In other words, the same supply in different conditions, without regulation. Yes, hoteliers are worried,” said Richard Zarkin, public relations manager at the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“A lot of people are renting houses and apartments. It has to be regulated, the government is already working on the issue,” he added.

Zarkin said that there is an uneven playing field for hotels and properties listed on accommodation sites because the former pay commercial rates for electricity and water while the latter are charged residential prices, which are lower.

“We think that it’s unfair competition. Airbnb is a platform that benefits from [tourism] promotion whose budget comes from the accommodation tax. There should be responsibility. Airbnb should pay the relevant taxes,” he said.

Seven Mexican states including Guerrero and Mexico City charge Airbnb hosts booking taxes of 2% to 3% but federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco is now proposing the introduction of a nationwide regulatory framework for online hospitality services, an initiative that is supported by Riviera Nayarit hoteliers.

Located between the historic port of San Blas and Banderas bay in Nuevo Vallarta, the Riviera Nayarit is one of Mexico’s fastest growing tourism destinations.

Average hotel occupancy rates were 65% last year and tourism generated an estimated economic spillover of US $1.6 billion in the region.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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