Holbox to charge occupancy tax

The resources will be used for waste management

Holbox, in the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas - Photo: Fernando Miranda/EL UNIVERSAL
English 22/11/2017 11:47 Fernando Miranda Actualizada 12:26

Several are the problems tourism has caused to the island of Holbox, Quintana Roo, and now waste threatens this popular destination in the Mexican Caribbean.

The authorities of Lázaro Cárdenas – the municipality Holbox belongs to – have admitted the town's waste management capacity has been surpassed as the island doesn't have its own waste management facilities.

Emilio Jiménez, the town's Mayor, said during an interview with EL UNIVERSAL that he has already presented a proposal for an occupancy tax. The proposal has already been approved by the Town Hall and was sent to the local Congress for its approval. Thus, the government is considering implementing a charge of MXN$20 (USD$1) per occupied room, which would only be applicable to the touristic side of the island.

According to the Mayor, the income generated by this measure – and estimated MXN$80 to 100 thousand per month – will be used for “sanitation” measures, specifically for waste management.

“We have no sanitary landfill, just a transference center and we have to dispatch [waste] to Kantunilkin using boats, or gondolas, or however we can,” he said.

According to the Mayor, each 14-ton one-way trip has a cost of MXN$10,000. Out of the 60 tons generated by the municipality, 40% or 50% belong to Holbox.

Jesús Tah, tourism coordinator in Holbox, added they got the idea after the collapse of the island at the end of July, when the number of tourists exceeded the services capacity of the island.

Yet waste management is only one of the many problems this community is currently facing. According to Tah, drinking water supply and street lighting are other concerns being worked on.