Airbnb Could Operate Freely Outside of Panama City

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.

Monday, January 2, 2017

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. 

See: "Airbnb Wants to Pay Taxes in Costa Rica" reports that "...Entrepreneurs who attended the meeting indicated that during the gathering it was was made clear that Panamanian law prohibits renting of apartments in the capital city for tourism visits of less than 45 days. "

"... Among the proposals made by the ATP to Airbnb representatives, the most noteworthy was that they only offer apartments and residences for rent which are located in the interior of the country, where there is a shortage of rooms. Law 80 only prohibits the activity in the capital city, but makes no mention of the rest of the country. After the meeting, a spokesperson for Airbnb promised to deliver a proposal to the Panamanian authorities and the private sector in February 2017 in order to continue offering properties in Panama."

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Airbnb, Taxes and Tourism

February 2018

The company would be willing to charge the lodging tax in Panama if the restrictions on the rental of real estate for tourism purposes were eliminated, and if the data on property owners was protected.

These are the conditions that representatives of the property rental platform proposed to the Panamanian government to begin negotiating the possible collection of the 10% lodging tax, also paid by hotels, in order to formalize their operation in the country.

Airbnb to Pay Taxes in Panama

July 2017

The company has proposed to the government that a tax collection scheme be implemented for property owners that rent out rooms to tourists using its web platform.

Airbnb's idea is to establish a system similar to the one recently implemented in Puerto Rico, where the company signed an agreement with the government to collect taxes on rentals from homeowners. 

Tourism Numbers in Panama Don't Match

May 2015

Tourism companies have denounced underspending in the budget for international promotion of the country and assert that the official figures for hotel occupancy are not real.

Industry representatives argue that the hotel occupancy rate published by the Tourism Authority merely represents a sample of some large hotels in the capital ", while data from hotels in the interior of the country are not even taken into account in the statistics. Added to this problem is the low implementation of the budget for marketing tourism in the country. According to a report by the ATP, "... as of April 30, 2015, not a single penny has been invested of the $2 million earmarked for the development of Panama as a country brand."

Holiday Rentals in Panama Affects Hoteliers

September 2013

Renting apartments for tourism is the apparent culprit for hotel occupancy in Panama City falling by 10% in the last year.

Apartment owners have increased their sales despite the existence of a law banning tourists renting for less than 45 days. reports: "Hotel owner Jaime Campuzano recognizes that three-bedroom apartments are being offered for $60 a day, which hotels prices can not compete with."

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