Mexico mulls regulating Airbnb as home-sharing booms

(Bloomberg) – Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is considering regulating Airbnb Inc. in the nation’s capital, soon after announcing a partnership with the company to attract more tourists and remote workers to the densely populated urban center .

Airbnb has enjoyed a boost in Latin America’s second-largest economy, in part by catering to US citizens seeking affordable destinations who have settled in the country at unprecedented rates, and tourists who find it convenient to visit given Mexico’s proximity to the United States.

Read more: Americans moving to Mexico at record pace, up 85% from pre-pandemic

Sheinbaum said she is consulting with other cities that have had similar experiences to understand how they have handled the company’s presence.

“I speak with some mayors who have regulated because if we don’t, there will be areas that will be filled exclusively with Airbnbs,” Sheinbaum told Blooomberg News in an interview Wednesday at City Hall. “That cannot be. It would create a lot of problems for the city.

Airbnb said in a statement that it “looks forward to continuing to work with experts, local governments, NGOs and hosts to be part of the solution to the challenges facing communities in Mexico City and across the country.” .

Read more: Mexico’s hottest resort towns battle Covid travel boom

New York City’s mayor recently proposed regulations requiring much stricter ownership requirements that would make it harder for hosts to list apartments where they don’t live. Barcelona threatened the company with fines this year if it did not deregister unregistered properties. In France, primary residences are only allowed to serve as accommodation for 120 nights per year.

Sheinbaum did not specify what type of regulation she envisioned. She had previously said the city government was investigating whether the home-sharing company was contributing to higher rents, but found no evidence at the time.

Mexico City is the sixth-largest market in the Americas and the 11th in the world for short-term rentals, according to industry data provider AirDNA. It has more than 19,000 rentals on online platforms, the vast majority of these Airbnb listings.

Mexico City Airbnbs stays of 28 days or more increased more than 30% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the company.

Air tourist arrivals to Mexico rose 18.3% in November from a year earlier, according to data from the Anahuac University Tourism Research Center. Nearly 18 million tourists took flights to Mexico in the first 11 months of the year, 67% of them from the United States, the data showed.

–With the help of Michael Tobin.

(Updates with Airbnb’s statement in fifth paragraph and regulatory details in sixth paragraph.)

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