Is it about to become more expensive to visit Mexico's Baja California Sur? The popular Mexican resort area is imposing a new tourism tax. The tax will become effective for all foreign visitors to the region beginning on Nov. 9. The news comes as Mexico's tourism industry is already suffering from bad publicity related to increased levels of crime and violence.
Mexico has seen arrival numbers among travelers from the United States dip by more than 5 percent in 2019. Even popular Cancún has seen a steep decline in international tourism in 2019. What's more, the Mexico Tourism Board essentially ceased operations last winter.
People with plans to travel to Mexico's Baja California Sur for weddings, honeymoons and spring break will be disappointed to hear that the new tax will make their vacations slightly more expensive. Popular resort spots like Cabo San Lucas and La Paz are both located in the region that is being impacted by the new tourism tax. The revenue generated through the new tax will be used to fund infrastructure improvements and social services in the region. Resort areas in Mexico have received criticism in the past for failing to do enough to benefit the poor communities that often surround glittering, luxurious resort zones.
Baja California Sur's new tourism tax marks a big sea change for resort taxes in Mexico. Most Mexican states charge tourism taxes indirectly by attaching them to hotel and airport fees. However, the new tax will be paid directly to the government. Tourists will be able to submit payments for the new tax using airport kiosks.