Cozumel Explores Imposing a $5 Cruise Passenger Tax 

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Passengers visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, may have to pay a new $5 cruise tax beginning in 2025.

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The proposed tax will fund local infrastructure and support victims of natural disasters.

Referred to as the “right to cruise passengers,” the $5 fee will be required from cruise ship passengers who stop at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Quintana Roo’s busiest ports.

The suggestion was raised during a recent meeting regarding the state’s fiscal budget. With over 4 million annual passengers from these two ports, the new legislation could generate an additional revenue of $20 million for the government. 

According to the Secretary of Planning and Finance, Eugenio Segura Vázquez, the funds will be used for building infrastructure and disaster relief. Vázquez announced in Spanish, “70% of the income will be used for the improvement of tourist infrastructure while the remaining 30% will go toward the creation of a Natural Disaster Fund for storms, rains, and hurricanes, among others.”

He added that the fee will be a one-time payment regardless of which cruise ports passengers visit. Additionally, the crew members of the ships will not be required to pay the tax. If approved, it will be collected by cruise lines upon booking starting January 1, 2025.

Hurricanes: a threat in Quintana Roo

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June to November each year is known as hurricane season in Quintana Roo. The strongest hurricanes visit Cancun (a city in Quintana Roo) from August to September.

Additionally, the region experiences strong winds, torrential downpours, landslides, and serious flooding. 

Since 1951, the state has been visited by 11 strong hurricanes between 3 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. 

Passengers visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya

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Cozumel is Mexico’s largest cruise port, followed by Costa Maya. Together, they are responsible for bringing in over 4 million passengers yearly—4.1 million in 2022 and 4.3 million in 2023.

Meanwhile, the number of cruise ships declined from January 1 to October 8, 2023, versus the previous year, from 1,576 (2022) to 1,164 (2023).

The Bahamas, Amsterdam, and other popular cruise destinations recently introduced cruise taxes.

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