El Medano beach is regarded as the center of the action for tourists in Los Cabos.
Recently, the area has had its security improved with the addition of cameras and the connection to the police department’s network.
It also has been choked with traffic due to the increase of visitors for the spring travel season.
Adding to the issues at the popular tourist hotspot, along with at the marina, is the increase in local vendors who line the beach walkways to peddle their hot food, snacks, beach toys, and even souvenirs right in front of the local storefront businesses.
Overcrowding the Walkways
The main problem is that the walkways are already too narrow for tourists in the El Medano and marina areas. Adding in the vendors forces the tourists to dodge carts and other walking vendors when trying to get from location to location.
At times, even the vendors themselves get aggressive with each other in front of the tourists as they try to jockey for the best haggling location in the very limited space.
Businessmen in the area believe that tourists would have a better experience if the proper permitting and licensing was in force to limit vendors and allow guests to better enjoy their beach experience.
The Need For Proper Licensing
Local business owners complain about the avoidance of proper licensing and business practices these informal vendors are creating in front of properly licensed and registered businesses.
The businessowners claim that the local government does not grant permits to set up these informal vendor shops in the El Medano and marina areas and therefore they should not be allowed.
According to restaurant owner Gabriel Larrea Santana in Cabo San Lucas, his business is suffering because there is no enforcement of health, safety and business standards for the vendors that set up shop right in front of his properly regulated and registered business.
He understands the plight of the locals also trying to make a few dollars and pesos off of the local spring season beach trade. But he says they should be held to the same requirements and standards of his business.
Larrea Santana cites the lack of social security payments for those vendors that would help them in the long run. He also claims they would be receiving medical, pension and retirement benefits if the businesses were properly licensed and registered as a formal company.
In the long term, he states that this is more beneficial for the long-term viability of the Los Cabos community as a whole. This instead of the vendors trying to undercut the formal businesses by lowering prices, standards or quality.
Tourists Dislike the Aggressive Salespeople
According to local businesses, the street vendors are also making it impossible for visitors to enjoy the beaches because of their aggressive selling methods.
With the increase in spring season visitors comes the increase in locals working to provide a fun experience for guests. While some are more established businesses, other may be more transient style shops that pop up on the beach and marina walkways providing items for tourists.
However, the businesses along the beach say that some of the products don’t fit the area where they are being sold. Merchants claim that beachgoers or tourists at the marina aren’t looking for handicrafts or blankets from vendors. They say those types of products should be sold elsewhere.
Lack of Enforcement Breeds Illegal Drug Trade
The overall lack of enforcement has also bred an illegal trade in the area. Larrea Santana claims to have seen illegal drug deals going down in the area because it is very crowded and lacks regular patrols.
The drug dealers simply look like any other vendor.
With the negative publicity around illegal drug handling and sales from local pharmacies, this type of activity has simply migrated to the beaches where the action is occurring due to the influx of travelers for the spring travel season.
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