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Some Canadian tourists in Mexico must pay a new fee before they leave. Here's what to know

There are some other changes to consider, too.
cancun-hotel-zone-photo
Popular tourist spots in Mexico, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, require a small tourist fee to visit now.

If you are looking to get your dose of Vitamin D in Mexico during the extended rainy season in Vancouver, you are far from alone. 

But you might want to be aware of a couple of relatively recent tourism updates before you head down. 

First and foremost, you need to heed the Canadian government's travel advisory for the country.

While the lion's share of residents from the Great White North will likely enjoy a relaxing holiday, there have been some tragic incidents that may give prospective visitors pause. 

Mexico's powerful drug cartels commonly use local gangs to defend their territory and carry out their vendettas. Tourists from Canada and the United States have been victims of kidnappings. They have also been caught in the crossfire of shootings between rival gangs. 

Due to the levels of violence, the Canadian government advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico. The U.S. Department of State also recently warned travellers about increased levels of violence in Mexico and updated its advisory. 

Travel from Vancouver to Mexico in 2022

Are you looking to visit Quintana Roo? 

If you aren't sure exactly where that is, you may be more familiar with some of the names of the state's most popular tourist spots, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Quintana Roo is Mexico's most frequented tourist state, and home to the breathtaking Mayan Riviera. Millions of visitors flock to its beaches and resorts annually, making Cancun International Airport the tenth busiest in the world with international travellers, according to the airport's website. 

But there have been a couple of changes for air passengers arriving at the airport from foreign countries (and for those heading home, too). 

Whether you choose a Mexico all-inclusive stay or a self-guided adventure, you'll have to pay a new fee as part of your stay. Luckily, it doesn't cost that much and the process for paying it isn't very complicated. 

Visatax is described as "the payment of contributions from foreign tourists" to Quintana Roo state. To complete the payment process, you need to provide the government with the requested information and make the required payment. It came into effect on April 1, 2021 - a time when many Canadians were not contemplating their next visit to Mexico. 

The application form asks for your departure date, the number of visitors, your full name, your passport number, and your age. Finally, you'll be asked to pay about 241 Mexican pesos, which converts to roughly $15.81 CAD.

You can view the Visatax portal online and you may complete the process before you visit Mexico or just before your departure flight out of the country. You can also pay in person at the airport but this can get a little chaotic at times; it is best to pay in advance. Also, if you try to pay online at the airport be forewarned that the airport's internet is very hit and miss. 

And the good news about visiting Cancun in 2022

Aside from the fact that Mexico has very few travel rules for entry at this time, the government has introduced a pilot that will make it even easier to visit Quintana Roo this year. 

Now, air passengers arriving at Cancun International Airport do not have to fill out the Forma Multipla Migratoria (FMM) as part of the immigration process. Now, Canadian tourists arriving at the airport will be granted a 180-day stay in Mexico. If you've ever ventured through the airport, filling out the paperwork could slow down the process dramatically, particularly in Cancun. Even if you had filled it out beforehand, you might be caught waiting in sprawling lines filled with travellers who hadn't already done so. 

While some of the websites haven't been updated to reflect this information, travellers arriving at the airport have passed through without issue, which has sped up the immigration process dramatically. That said, this rule doesn't apply nationally: it is a pilot in Cancun and you should still fill out the form if you plan on arriving at other Mexican airports.