Yucatán, a benchmark in the regularization of digital hosting platforms

Photo: (Cadena)

Mérida, Yucatán, (March 23, 2021).- Expedia Group officially confirmed that, as of February 1 of this year, the Vrbo hosting platform (formerly called Homeaway), which since 2015 is part of this important group, started the compliance with their contributions to the state lodging tax in Yucatán, which currently registers a current rate of 5 percent, on behalf of the owners subscribed on this platform, thereby complying with current regulations on the matter.

In this way, Vrbo joins similar digital platforms, such as Airbnb, which have already regularized their tax contributions for hosting services, providing greater financial resources that will allow the State Government to increase investment in promotion and development. tourism, according to the Economic Reactivation Plan implemented by Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal.

Through an article published online by Expedia Group Media Solutions, Walter González, manager of Corporate and Government Affairs of the firm, highlighted that thanks to an alliance with the Tourism Development Secretariat (Sefotur) he established contact with the Yucatan Tax Administration Agency (AAFY), to start with the corresponding procedure.

In this regard, he described this event as successful, since “it represents an example of association for local reactivation since by aligning itself with compliance with tax obligations in the state, it lays the foundations for the creation of a regulatory framework to eradicate practices harmfully, democratize this activity and, at the same time, contribute to the community ”.

Expedia recognized the work of Sefotur as an example in Mexico, because it has implemented several actions to preserve and rebuild the tourism industry within the territory.

Regarding the economic reactivation, he stressed that “all parties realize that this is an arduous task that requires great commitment and collaboration; recovery will not be achieved in isolation. It requires the support of public and private actors in all areas to coordinate their efforts to achieve common goals that benefit and protect the local population, their jobs, the area’s tax revenues, and all other elements of the economy that will benefit from a return of tourism. “

In the fall of 2020, Expedia Group’s global digital advertising organization, Expedia Group Media Solutions, launched a digital media campaign along with Sefotur through “ads designed to reach and convert American travel buyers appeared on the sites from Expedia Group in the US, which generated an 18: 1 ROI, more than 1.5 million impressions and demand for room nights grew by more than 20 percent over the campaign period. “

In this sense, Expedia stressed that “by joining the Yucatan tourism reactivation with state authorities, Vrbo adds to the vital economy of the region” and stated that “this type of regulatory initiatives in the tourism industry are examples of how the public and private sectors can partner to improve a region and help tourism on the road to recovery. This association should serve as both a model and an open invitation for other companies to coordinate efforts with governments to reach agreements that directly and indirectly benefit the many people involved. “

For her part, for the head of Sefotur, Michelle Fridman Hirsch, “the incorporation of Vrbo to the formal operation of the accommodation platforms in the entity represents the opportunity to increase the attraction of resources for the promotion and development of tourism in the state, creating a virtuous circle that allows, through these actions, to attract travelers, since these resources are contributed to the Yucatan Tourism Promotion Trust ”.

On the other hand, in a no less important consequence, the official stated that “it also contributes to improving competitive conditions with respect to traditional hotels, which in the entity represents a total of 540 establishments with 14,660 rooms, which of course contribute their state taxes and generate local employment ”.

According to figures from the DataTur program, during 2019, Yucatán reached a record number of more than 2.1 million visitors with overnight stays in lodging establishments, of which 75 percent were of national origin and 25 were foreign.

In 2020, the pandemic represented an important challenge for these establishments in the world, due to the limitations on mobility and the sanitary restrictions imposed, so actions such as those achieved in alliance with Vrbo will allow Yucatan to have greater resources to promote the arrival of visitors, when sanitary conditions allow it.

Finally, the Sefotur reiterates its commitment to guarantee the quality of the services, making an exhortation to the service providers and visitors who use the digital platforms in the entity to verify that they comply with the current tax obligations.

For any comment, complaint or complaint in this regard, the email yucatan.travel@yucatan.gob.mx is available, with which the agency continues with the permanent collaboration and surveillance, together with the AAFY, in order to expand the database of taxpayers of the entity for the benefit of the local tourism industry.

Source: Sefotur