Hotels mobilize against ‘unfair’ Airbnb competition

Airbnb rentals are unfair competition to hotels, a trade group charges. Photo illustration/Staff
Airbnb rentals are unfair competition to hotels, a trade group charges. Photo illustration/Staff

Mérida, Yucatán — The Mexican Association of Hotels in Yucatan is increasing its ranks as members band together against Airbnb rentals.

The group expects to close the year with almost 140 members, said its president, Héctor Navarrete Medina, a 49 percent increase since the beginning of the year.

Hoteliers are seeking tighter regulations on Airbnb and other online sites, which allow private homeowners to make money on their properties by finding renters online.

Roughly 800 properties in Yucatán are listed on Airbnb, Homeaway or VRBO.

Airbnb hosts in Yucatán should pay 16 percent tax, Navarrete Medina has suggested, to level the playing field with hotels, which pay tourism taxes as well as commercial tariffs on water and electricity. They have been in talks with state officials since March, and will present a formal proposal later this year.

The Hyatt and the Hilton Garden Inn have joined the group, and “the three most important hotels in Paseo de Montejo are in the process of doing so,” Medina said.

Source: Sipse

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