I have just returned from Playa del Carmen and what a difference eight months makes (date of my last visit). The beaches are now enormous and beautifully clean, loud techno music emanated from every beach bar which made relaxing on a sun lounger, without using ear plugs, a little awkward.
We should learn from Mexico that they do not let any mode of transport on the beach, especially from the bridge south as we now have a road, and also that they use people who have committed minor crimes to serve their community by cleaning the beaches.
What I found out by eating and drinking in bars restaurants and staying in hotels that due to the recession everything has gone up by at least 50%. Playa has now become far more expensive than San Pedro. Activities including diving have also gone up but only by 25%. The business owners are all complaining that business is terrible (although 5th avenue was packed every night, but noone appeared to be purchasing anything from the stores as it was very noticeable that hardly anyone had shopping bags), the tourists were all saying everything is too expensive.
Hopefully we (business owners of San Pedro) will learn that it is not always good or indeed sensible to put up prices as people will stop spending their hard earned monies here and go somewhere else which they may perceive as a better deal. My advice would be to advertise that we are now a “better deal than Playa or Cancun”, and that we will keep our prices in check so that you (the tourists/visitors) get the best value for your dollar.
Owner of Pedro’s Inn and Hotel