Tourists love the opportunity to haggle with vendors to get a good deal on a special souvenir item to take home with them as a memory of their trip to the beach resort destination of Los Cabos.
However, some tourists have experienced issues from the local vendors such as being harassed by overly aggressive salespeople trying to make their quotas for selling products to visitors.
Others have complained that they felt taken advantage of by local street vendors without little possibility of holding the vendor liable for their actions with local authorities or law enforcement due to the lack of permits and licensing.
In response to this, officials of the local governments across Baja California Sur and law enforcement have been working to formalize street vendors and make sure they are compliant with the rules to provide excellent customer experiences to travelers.
They are also required to ensure their products are being sold with the proper safety and security features for visitors.
Recently, local officials in La Paz, the capital city of Baja California Sur, started a review of the street vendors in the community to ensure that tourists get high-quality service when purchasing products and are safe and secure at the same time.
Number of Local Vendors Increase
According to La Paz officials, the number of street vendors selling souvenirs to tourists has increased significantly in the area since 2022.
“In 2022 there were a total of 855 establishments,” said La Paz Municipal Commerce Director Cynthia García Rojas. “Last year we managed to register 5,250 in the registry and according to INEGI, there are around 10,000 units [this year].”
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) it is estimated that about half of those businesses are not properly licensed to sell products to tourists in a safe and secure manner with proper customer service standards.
The issue comes from the semi-fixed businesses that provide products and services to tourists in La Paz from the public walkways.
Only fixed businesses, or those that rented a fixed location, were the focus of proper business licensing in the past.
Now businesses that are classified as semi-fixed will be subject to the same customer service, safety and security standards for tourists. Those types of businesses open in the morning and are disassembled at night to return to the same location the next morning.
Protection of Tourists
The protection of tourists is the main concern of the new process to bring the semi-fixed businesses into compliance with the local rules and regulations.
The regularization of the businesses with several of the tourist complaints hopefully will reduce the incidence of issues between visitors and the semi-fixed street vendors.
In turn, travelers will have a better shopping experience when visiting the beach resort destination on their vacation getaway.
What Travelers Need to Know
Once the review is complete, travelers to La Paz should feel more safe and secure when shopping for their souvenirs with local street vendors in the community.
Because street vendors will have the required licenses and permits to operate, they will be held liable for their actions related to the customer service, safety and security provided to tourists in the beach resort destination.
Travelers having issues when shopping with street vendors will now have recourse against the vendor. They should immediately report any irregularities or customer service complaints with local officials or law enforcement for investigation.
Local officials have pledged that street vendors that regularly break the rules connected to customer service, safety and security of tourist shoppers will have their permits and licenses revoked to conduct business in the public spaces of La Paz.
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