Interest in Airbnb has reached fever pitch here in Mexico —on the demand and supply side— with the proliferation of shared spaces in private homes substantially changing the market and bringing additional visitors to smaller towns and cities which hitherto would be constrained by hotel room availability.
Conversations at dinner parties inevitably include talk about the potential of renting a room or annex in one’s home and about someone else who’s doing it already and earning a worthwhile income.
Travelers actively consider services like Airbnb, HomeAway and Tripping as a choice alongside hotels, and sites like Booking.com are offering shared spaces in private homes alongside traditional hotel rooms.
There are pros and cons of renting a shared space in a private home instead of using a hotel and these are discussed in detail on our main article about the subject. Irrespective of the wider arguments, shared space rentals led by Airbnb have materially altered the accommodations market in Mexico.
Hosts who tend to do well are those with homes in popular neighborhoods in big cities as well as those with homes in smaller towns and resorts popular with tourists, especially weekend visitors. Satellite towns and cities within a 2-to-3-hour drive of the capital —including Valle de Bravo, Tepoztlán, Cuernavaca, Puebla, Taxco and Tequisquiapan— are among the places where hosts offering accommodations via Airbnb can do particularly well at weekends.
The local economies of these towns and resorts are getting more trade as they are no longer constricted by static-supply hotel accommodations. Shared spaces in private homes are increasing supply generally while creating an elastic and dynamic system that flexes to the demand, for example, when an Expo or festival is taking place locally.
A downside of this trend might be oversupply. Some quiet provincial towns —an attraction for some— are becoming less quaint and more crowded. In picturesque towns around Mexico City, it’s not unusual to see traffic jams forming on a Sunday afternoon as the scramble to get back to the capital —and Monday morning’s inbox— plays out in places which extended a well-earned break and some fresh air to the capital’s corps of office workers.
For travelers and visitors: If you’re planning to visit or travel across Mexico and don’t mind sharing spaces in private homes, there has never been more (and growing) choice: there’s something for every taste and budget, from off-grid rustic bungalows lost in the countryside to sumptuous rooms carefully appointed to match any comfortable hotel.
For homeowners: If you’ve got a home in Mexico and want to join the ranks of those generating a side income, demand for space is high especially if you live in or near a big city, in a picturesque tourist town near the capital, or a popular ocean-side tourist resort. As we explain, offering space for rent in your Mexican home can be worthwhile, but there are matters to consider and some upfront investment is required.
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