Hotel officials in Quintana Roo have said that an increase of Sargassum seaweed on its beaches is not the biggest problem the region faces.
Instead, the hotel sector is being impacted more by the lack of tourism promotion and the rise of booking platforms such as Airbnb, according to Mexico News Daily.
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The Hotel Association of Cancun and Puerto Morelos president Roberto Cintron Gomez blamed the drop in reservations on the disbanding of the former Tourism Promotion Council. Mexico has now assigned the promotion of tourism to embassies and consulates around the world.
“Sargassum is not an issue that is bringing reservations down,” Gomez told Mexico News Daily. “It’s definitely the lack of promotion and the vacation rental platforms . . . the rental platforms have had significant growth.”
Mexican Travel Agency Association President Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera said the plan to educate diplomatic staff members on tourism via short marketing courses online is “absurd.” The agency wants the money collected from the accommodation tax to be used for national and international tourism marketing campaigns.
In addition, the Americas Market Intelligence research firm reports there are now more Airbnb listings than hotel rooms in Mexico. The data also showed that 81 percent of Airbnb guests in Mexico are satisfied with the experience, while 74 percent were satisfied by their hotel stay.