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Los Cabos To Increase Regulation Of Vendors Targeting Tourists

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After scattered reports of tourist harassment from vendors on Los Cabos beaches, local officials have worked to ensure the informal businesses are properly licensed and regulated for the protection of tourists.

Vendor Licensing Efforts

The municipality of Los Cabos recently announced that they have completed the needed registration paperwork and licensing documents for 70 percent of the “informal” businesses working with visitors at local beaches.

They accomplished this initial goal by establishing an office at the Cultural Pavilion downtown and working closely with the vendors focused on El Medano Beach and the Los Cabos marina.

Hotels and Resorts Lining Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

El Medano Beach is the main tourist zone beach in Los Cabos that is most frequented by visitors and targeted by vendors focused on providing them with products and services.

Licensing of vendors has been talked about for many months, with debates on how to handle the process and what requirements were put in place.

At one point, local officials were even considering requiring local vendors to wear vests or other uniforms so that they could be easily recognized by law enforcement and tourists.

A vendor selling dolls on the beach

Licensed and Regulated

Los Cabos municipal officials made sure that the vendors they could reach were formally registered and paid the appropriate licensing fee to sell to tourists.

Now that the vendors are registered and required to carry the proper license, they can be easily identified if complaints of aggressive or harassing behavior are received.

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Food vendor on the beach

The complaint can be cross-referenced with the vendor’s name, company name, or license number, and the appropriate action can be taken on the complaint to protect tourists.

What’s The Issue

Throughout Los Cabos, there have been reports of harassment and aggressive sales practices by local vendors.

Several of the reports come from the main shopping areas of town, where vendors are often found selling their items to visitors and locals in parking lots.

Street vendor by the beach

Other reports are from local bars and restaurants on El Medano beach and at the marina area, where the vendors set up on the sidewalks to sell their products to visitors.

However, most of the aggressive and harassing behavior reports come from tourists to Los Cabos who feel they were pressured to purchase items on local beaches, often at excessive prices.

Meanwhile, the main “complaint” of many of the businesses in Los Cabos was that the vendors clog the main passageways needed by tourists and obstruct the flow of traffic.

However, the actual issue may have been that the vendors in Los Cabos were stealing sales from local tourist businesses and were not subject to the same rules as traditional businesses when it came to license fees and remittance of taxes to the government.

Beach vendor selling jewellery in Los Cabos

What Tourists Need to Know

The licensing requirement for vendors in Los Cabos is not expected to decrease the number of vendors promoting their products and services to visitors by a significant number.

However, it will make it easier to enforce proper business activity and hopefully also limit the number of unlicensed vendors working with visitors.

It will be important for visitors to Los Cabos to help enforce the new enforcement actions by asking to see the vendor’s license before agreeing to purchase products or services.

Police Checking the Bags of Vendors on a Los Cabos Beach

It is also suggested that travelers note the license number or take a photo of it with a smartphone in the event that something happens with the transaction.

By capturing the license number, local municipal officials and law enforcement can cross-reference the license number to the specific vendor and address claims of negative sales activity such as harassment, intimidation, excessive pricing, or even fraud.

If this step is not taken, it may be hard to locate the appropriate vendor and take action to protect the victim and others who may fall victim in the future.

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