Airbnb is set to contribute to a $2.5bn investment in Mexico's tourism industry [Unsplash]

Airbnb to contribute to $2.5bn investment in tourism in Mexico

Mexico: Airbnb is joining other global tourism brands, including Marriott and Hilton, in contributing to a $2.5 billion investment by The World Travel and Tourism Council [WTTC] in Mexico’s tourism industry.

The announcement was made by organisation president Christopher J. Nasseta at the twentieth WTTC summit, the first hybrid event since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which is being held in Cancun, Quintana Roo. Under the plans, 100,000 jobs would be generated in the the country’s tourism industry.

Airbnb, whose own CEO Brian Chesky is a global member of the Council, was joined by brands such as Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean, Japan Airlines and more, in a bid to discuss how to drive Mexico’s struggling tourism sector forward post-pandemic.

Nasseta said in his speech: “Although the recovery of tourism has been complicated, vaccines, good practices regarding sanitary protocols and restriction measures are giving hope in the tourism sector. We have overcome the most difficult year, we have not overcome the pandemic yet, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

This year, leading minds from the travel business world convened at the Summit, known as the “Davos of Tourism”, to decide on a join strategy to address the effects of the health crisis and, in particular, to collaborate in the reopening of the industry once vaccines are rolled out and distributed more widely.

Nasseta added that the sector must be the “leader in protecting the opening of orders and advancing for the recovery in a safe way”, and be “smart” in working together.

The purpose of the event is to not only reignite tourists’ passion for experiences, but also to reconnect the global sector to make it a more sustainable and inclusive place for all travellers.

Miguel Torruco, Secretary of Tourism of Mexico, said: “Mexico is a highly privileged country, with rich traditions and customs, such as the Mayan culture, among places. Quintana Roo represents 36 per cent of the tourism movement in our country.”

Current CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines advise Americans to avoid all travel to Mexico but those who do go should be fully vaccinated prior to their trip.

To date, more than 12 million Mexicans [almost ten per cent of the population] have received their first vaccine dose, while over five million people in the country have now been fully vaccinated.

Last July, Mexico City proposed to ban home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb as part of a bill put forward by Leticia Estrada Hernández of the Leftist National Regeneration Movement [Morena] to reform zoning laws in the capital.

Under the proposed amendment to zoning law Article 17, all private residential properties would be prohibited from carrying out “industrial, commercial or service activities, and for no reason may they be intended for temporary accommodation, as offered by the Airbnb platform and other similar platforms”.

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