The government has proposed that Airbnb offer its services only in the interior of the country where the supply of hotels is lower and where the legal prohibition of vacation rentals is not in effect.
Authorities at the online rental company met with representatives from the government and the private sector, after a group of tourists were affected by an inspection by the ATP in an apartment which was rented out using the platform.
In Costa Rica the total amount of accommodation available for rent through the web platform Airbnb is now equivalent to 18% of the hotels in the country.
The figure has been confirmed by the union of hoteliers, who say there is now a total of 11,000 homes offering accommodation for tourism through Airbnb.On top of this data there are also residences rented to tourists through other platforms such as Homeaway or VRBO.
Solutions are being sought to the lack of promotion of the country and unfair competition from illegal hotels, so that the occupancy rate, which went from 70% in 2011 to 52% in 2015, can be improved.
According to the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, the occupancy rate in Panama fell once again last year, going from 56.1% in 2014 to 52.3% in 2015. The average daily number rooms occupied during the last year was 5,466 compared to 5,816 registered the previous year, representing a 6% drop in this indicator.
Lack of international promotion is the cause indicated by entrepreneurs of the fall in the average rate in the capital, which has dropped by 40% in the past five years.
The union says the problem of oversupply of rooms in the country began to get worse in 2012, when the international tourism promotion agreement which the government signed with an advertising agency ended.They argue that "...While Panama disappeared from international markets, other countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic increased their spending on advertising. "
The air link with the capital is one of the reasons behind the increase in the supply of rooms in the province, a number which is expected to rise to 3,000 by the end of the year.
Currently the Tourism Authority of Chiriqui is running a pilot scheme to improve the quality of the hotels in the province, since most are rated at three stars. At the end of 2014 only 700 rooms offered 5-star amenities and average costs range between $80 and $300.
For the first time in two years, Panama will achieve a hotel occupancy rate of 60% during the days of the Summit of the Americas, which will have an economic impact estimated at between $50 million and $80 million.
The visit which will be made by 35 presidents of the Americas and 25,000 people who make up their delegations have changed the landscape, at least for a few days, of the Panamahotel sector, which expects to achieve an occupancy rate of at least 70% from 6 and April 11.
Seven new establishments with high quality personalized service will add 291 rooms to the hotel inventory with its opening in tourist areas and in the capital.
There are currently 45 boutique hotels and the arrival of another seven is expected soon, some of which are already under construction and others are awaiting the appropriate permissions to operate. This line of business in the hotel industry is aimed at high net worth clients, offering exclusivity and more personalized services.
While occupancy rates and average prices continue to fall, the Panamanian hotel market is preparing to increase its supply by another 1,200 rooms at the end of the year.
The Panamanian Association of Hotels (Apatel) reports that in recent years there has been a 209% increase in the number of rooms available in the country, in contrast to demand which has only grown by 5% annually.
American and European tourists who visit the country are most likely to choose this type of service, where in the province of Cocle alone it represents 95% of the hotel supply.
Following the global economic crisis which began in 2008, tourists are looking for a hotel service that allows them to enjoy a more comprehensive service, paying a fixed fee for everything. According to studies by the firm RCI, 50% of Europeans traveling to Panama opt for this service when visiting the country.
Suppliers and representatives from local hotels and Central Americans will be gathering together in Managua on October 21st to participate in conferences and business appointments.
As a result of tourism growth and increased demand for these services the first edition of the Feria de Nicaragua will be held in the convention center of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Over 150 suppliers and 300 hotel owners are expected to attend.
Latam Hotel Corporation will build and operate, beggining in 2016, a Hyatt Place hotel with 140 rooms in the Cascadas shopping center in San Salvador.
From a statement issued by the Agency for Investment Promotion and Export El Salvador (Proesa):
With an investment of more than USD 36 million, the Government of El Salvador in conjunction with Latam Hotel Corporation has laid the first stone where the Hyatt Place San Salvador hotel will be built.
The hotel chain also announced the opening of its fifth property in the country by the end of the year.
From a press release by Hiilton Worldwide:
Panama, Panama City - Hilton Worldwide has announced the opening of Hilton Panama, a new 347 room hotel with a prime location in the heart of the city, the Hilton Panama offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. This new hotel opened its doors in time to celebrate with all Panamanians the centenary of the Panama Canal and offers special introductory rates from $129 * per night to commemorate the occasion.
The hotel is immersed in 45 hectares of primary and secondary forest , at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano , which makes it a true oasis of peace, enriched by an exuberant vegetation and diverse fauna. Montaña de Fuego has become one of the most beautiful hotels in the area, with one of the most privileged panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano.
Operates in Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama
Phone: (506) 2479 1220 - (506) 2479 1220
We are one of the best luxury hotels in San Jose, we have five-stars for business or pleasure travel.
Operates in Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2523 1266 - (506) 8378 1266
Hotel Makanda by the Sea in Costa Rica announced that is has been chosen by the Elegant Small Hotels division of Lanier Publishing International Inc. for the prestigious honor of cover hotel for the 25th Silver Edition Guidebook.