TULUM, Mexico – In the heart of Tulum, a picturesque paradise on the Mexican Caribbean, the tides of progress surge relentlessly. David Ortiz Mena, President of the Tulum Hotel Association, highlights the town’s remarkable growth trajectory, with its attendant challenges in housing and security.
Historically, Tulum has witnessed astonishing expansion, often at double-digit rates, surpassing an impressive 22%. Ortiz Mena asserts that this growth is poised to escalate further with structural projects such as the upcoming Tulum Airport and the transformative Maya Train.
Amidst this rapid growth, one pressing issue casts a long shadow: the dearth of housing. Tulum grapples with a severe shortage of dignified residences, leaving more than 7,500 families dwelling in subpar conditions, a significant woe for the local population. Furthermore, there exists a substantial labor deficit of approximately 24%, attributable to the lack of suitable living spaces for the workforce.
The surge in vacation rentals has also significantly impacted the housing market. Ortiz Mena underscores how these platforms have driven up costs and exacerbated the housing scarcity for both laborers and local law enforcement personnel.
The Vice President of the Caribbean Hotel Council emphasizes the urgent need for decent social housing in Tulum, especially for the working class and police force. Currently, many people endure unacceptable living conditions, some even residing in land-invaded areas.
Regarding security in Tulum, Ortiz Mena reports that despite some high-profile incidents drawing international attention, crime rates have shown marked improvement. Most incidents have been confined to clashes between criminal groups and have not directly affected tourists.