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Old 10-04-2017   #25 (permalink)
DrewJones's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 733
Originally Posted by GaryD View Post
Yep, I think of it of the "tourist" economy and the "locals" economy. I live in a place that swarms with tourists in the summer and the local pizza place tried the two price structure thing and all hell broke loose when it was found out by visitors. In the end they went with dollars off coupons on every pizza, thereby rewarding regular customers be they local or tourists. I put a lot of kilometers on the rental car down there last year, over 11,000 in two months and I saw the tourist economy and the local economy differences over and over across all the southern Mexican states. Businesses have learned to target tourists, many of whom (most in some places) are from Mexico itself. One has to hunt out zones away from tourists in order to get by inexpensively. Apart from the rental car I live on a budget of 50 bucks Canadian, (was about 700 pesos) a day and that pays rooms, food and entertainment. That might seem like a lot but every meal has to be bought out and I can't usually pay all of the gas or toll highways out of that. Add in the fact that I work seasonally and have no income for 3 months means that I also need to live within the "peso" economy. I guess my point is that not every traveller to México is flush with cash and you can't judge someone's ability to pay based on their place of origin. Those expensive places? I can't go there either. Just sayin.

Since it says "BC Canada" under your name, I'm going to assume you live in a ski town? On the low end, the $10 an hour lift operator in Canada can pay for a meal at a restaurant in town for an hour or two of labor. Also, the activity in town (skiing) costs a low end worker roughly 20% or so of a low end monthly rent. Of course many ski areas, in the US at least, do give local discounts. Disney used to have local discounts (not sure if they still do, they seem to come and go).

Compare that to Mexico. A worker who makes 100 - 300 pesos a day would have to spend a day's labor (probably 12 hours) to have a nice meal on 5th Ave. And an entrance ticket to Xcaret is more expensive than an entire month's rent in many cases. I've met people splitting 1500 pesos a month in rent, and XCaret is something like 1700 pesos (food not included) to get in at normal prices. (the difference are even more dramatic in Africa, other parts of Latin America, and parts of Asia)

You spend 700 pesos a day, plus what, 300 - 500 or so for the car rental(?) plus another 200 - 500 per day for the plane ticket(?). That means that even though you're getting by on a relatively low tourist budget, you're still spending in a day about what most locals earn in a week.

And as mentioned before people who live here, even those with plenty of money, are good for business even at discounted prices. I've been to that dumb crocodile zoo 4 times in the past year. I only went the first time because I was curious and it was cheap with my local ID. Of course now everyone who comes to visit now wants to go there (since they saw photos). If anything they should let me in for free when I pull up, handing them 4 full price customers. Another potential visitor mentioned they want to go to the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary. Not sure if it's worth the money to bring 4 of them there. Fortunately, I can go on my own one of these weekends at a cheap price to check it out.

I agree it is annoying as a budget traveler, but I can't see any price equality solution that doesn't involve cutting out local people or tying the hands of local businesses.
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