On April 1st, 2021, the Mexican government implemented a tourist tax for international visitors coming into the state of Quintana Roo. Many of the most popular destinations in Mexico, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel, are located within Quintana Roo. As a result, most tourists entering Mexico are subject to the tax, which applies to all tourists over four. Though the tax has been around for over a year, many remain unaware of its existence.
How Much Is The Tourism Tax?
The total fee per visitor amounts to $241 Mexican Pesos, or roughly $12 U.S. Dollars as of this writing. The fee applies to every traveler over four who will visit any part of the Quintana Roo state. To pay the fee, travelers can use the Mexican Government’s VISITAX website before or during their trip. The tax is a measure to raise funding for development in the tourism industry, and it was initially estimated that the tax would produce $29.1 million U.S. dollars in 2021. However, many tourists remain unaware of the tax, which has made its collection unpredictable.
Do You Have To Pay The Tax?
The Quintana Roo tourism tax is mandatory for every traveler over four. So, if you are reading this, you should probably pay the tax. However, information regarding the tax is fairly limited, and its existence has eluded many travelers even after a year of being in effect. Beyond the payment website itself, it can be difficult to find information about the tourism tax. Some travelers have reported that they traveled to and from Cancun without ever being asked for proof of tax payment, leading others to ignore it. However, the tax is still mandatory, and travelers could still be asked to provide proof of payment.
A Word Of Caution
There is only one official site that travelers are to use when paying the tourism tax. For clarity, the site with its entire URL string is https://www.visitax.gob.mx. Any other site users may find through search engines or other means is NOT the official portal for paying the tourism tax. Many sites have popped up after the tax introduction that attempt to take advantage of travelers planning to visit Quintana Roo.
Because Travel Off Path does not wish to further these sites by providing links to them, we’ve included screenshots of the prices that a few of these sites are charging for the tourism tax. As you can see, some sites are charging as much as $42 for the $12 tax. Presumably, they are taking your information, paying the tax, sending you the confirmation, and pocketing the difference. However, since none of these sites are official avenues for paying the tourist tax, it’s unknown whether or not they actually pay the tax in your stead.
When this tax was first introduced, it lacked a system to support its enforcement. Hence, many travelers have gone to and from Quintana Roo without paying or being asked about it. However, Mexico is slowly adding more infrastructure to the system. Recently, it introduced VISITAX payment modules in arrival terminals 2 and 4 at Cancun International Airport.
International tourist friend, now you can make your VISITAX payment directly at the Cancun International Airport, locate our modules in arrivals terminal 2 and 4, from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. pic.twitter.com/jWFvYQOxhm— SATQROO (@satqroo) June 30, 2022
Until recently, the only way to pay the tax was through the use of the online form. However, travelers can now pay in person at Cancun International Airport. It seems the government is trying to make the tax more apparent and more stringent enforcement could soon follow.
Information Needed To Pay The Tax
In order to pay the tax, travelers will need to fill out either the online form or use one of the in-person modules located in Cancun International Airport. The form will require:
- The Number of People in Your Party
- First & Last Names of All Party Members
- Birthdates of Each Party Member
- Passport Numbers for All Party Members
- The Date of Departure from Quintana Roo
Proof of payment will be provided and, if enforced, must be shown to airport security before departing. As more destinations continue to add tourist taxes, travelers will likely see them become the new normal. Thankfully, this particular tax remains low for now. And although many travelers have gotten by without paying the tax since its introduction, it is still mandatory.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Sunday 26th of February 2023
Was entirely unaware of this Tax on a recent last minute visit to Riviera Maya. No information about, nor enforcement of, this tax on either Arrival or Departure through Cancun Airport Terminal 3. It is a relatively small amount but given the arrival and departure tourist taxes at the Airport and the hefty tourist tax on the accommodations, I think I'll wait until they enforce this tax before giving the Mexican governments any more money.
Saturday 17th of September 2022
Quintana Roo offers many more opportunities for scammers to rob tourists. Making the system scam proof is obviously not part of the plan.
Thursday 27th of October 2022
@Mich, The airlines won't want to get involved in this ridiculous tax. It's a State matter, not a Federal matter, which likely is why people are having trouble paying online at Cancun airport. I don't blame the airlines for not being involved in this. As the old saying goes...what a clusterf*ck!
Thursday 27th of October 2022
@Christian, They haven't covered all the bases by any stretch of the imagination. Some people are experiencing error messages, so they payment doesn't go through. We're told cash payments aren't accepted, so in these cases, what does a person do? Why anyone would pay the Visitax before they arrived in Cancun just doesn't make sense to me. It takes approx. an hour for confirmation email to arrive. Sometimes email takes longer, depending on how busy the sending site is or whatever. Imagine being asked for proof of payment but you haven't received the confirming email? This is a real mess., & needs to be cleaned up. Frankly I find Cancun to be expensive, too expensive & the only reason I'm going next month is because my best friend is celebrating a special occasion. After this trip...it's back to Puerto Vallarta for me.
Tuesday 27th of September 2022
@Christian, couldn't agree more. Want a Mandatory tax? Make it included in the airline price, or pay it when you get your stamp at customs... Not as you are exiting the chaos of the Cancun airport.