MEXICO CITY, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The mayor of Mexico City said on Wednesday she wanted to boost the number of “digital nomads” in the capital after signing a deal with short-term rental platform Airbnb, despite fears that the influx does drive residents out of the rental market.
Asked about complaints about rising rents at a press conference, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said local government hadn’t seen a direct link between rental prices and Airbnb’s presence.
Sheinbaum said most digital nomads — people who work online rather than in an office, often in another country — choose to stay in expensive neighborhoods, where rent is already higher than in other areas of the city. capital, such as Condesa, Roma and Polanco.
“We don’t want rents to skyrocket in the face of this situation,” she said, adding that her administration will continue to monitor the situation.
Airbnb could not immediately be reached for comment.
Average daily rates for short-term rentals in Mexico City jumped 27% to $93 in August 2022 from the same month in 2019, according to data from market research firm AirDNA.
Housing activists and some researchers have said the influx of digital nomads is fueling inflation and turning neighborhoods into expat bubbles, in a city notorious for its stark divisions between rich and poor.
Airbnb is also opening its platforms to Mexican residents to create tourism experiences around their daily activities, according to Sheinbaum.
The partnership between the government of Mexico City and Airbnb is also supported by UNESCO, the cultural agency of the United Nations.
(This story has been corrected to remove the repetition of the mayor’s last name in paragraph 2)
Report by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell
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