Bloomberg — Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is considering regulating Airbnb Inc. in the country’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, partly by catering to US citizens seeking affordable destinations who have been settling in the country at unprecedented rates, and to tourists who find it convenient to visit given Mexico’s proximity to the US.
Sheinbaum said she’s consulting with other cities that have gone through similar experiences to understand how they managed the company’s presence.
“I’m talking with some mayors who have regulated, because if we don’t, there will be areas that are filled exclusively with Airbnbs,” Sheinbaum told Blooomberg News in an interview Wednesday at City Hall. “That can’t be the case. That would generate a lot of problems for the city.”
Airbnb said in a statement that it “looks forward to continuing working with specialists, local governments, NGOs and hosts to be part of the solution to the challenges faced by communities in Mexico City and across the country.”
New York City’s mayor recently proposed regulations requiring far more stringent property 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 didn’t de-list unregistered properties. In France, primary homes are allowed to be used for hosting for only 120 nights a year.
Sheinbaum didn’t specify what kind of regulation she was considering. She had previously said the city government is studying whether the home-sharing company contributes to rising rents, but didn’t find evidence of that at the time.
Mexico City is the sixth largest market in the Americas and the 11th biggest globally for short-term rentals, according to industry data provider AirDNA. It has more than 19,000 rentals on online platforms, the vast majority of those Airbnb listings.
Stays in Mexico City Airbnbs for 28 days or more grew by more than 30% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the company.
Tourist arrivals by plane into Mexico were up 18.3% in November compared to a year earlier, according to data from Anahuac University’s tourism research center. Nearly 18 million tourists have taken flights to Mexico in the first 11 months of the year, with 67% coming from the US, the data show.
--With assistance from Michael Tobin.