Boom in Vacation Rentals

The Tourism Authority in Panama estimates that the supply of residences in the country that are rented out to tourists now represents 20% of hotel occupancy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hotel occupancy remains at the same levels as a year ago, around 50%, according to data from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic.  According to hoteliers and the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) itself, it has not been possible to improve the figures due to an increasing supply of vacation rentals, an activity which has been banned since 2014 under Law 80.

See also: "Taxes on Rental Accommodation in Costa Rica"

According to the administrator of the ATP, Gustavo Him, "... 'clandestine accommodation' accounts for approximately 20% of occupation in the country. If this percentage is added to the 44.7% hotel occupancy that was registered in May, the situation for hotels would have been different."

See also: "Rental Properties in Nicaragua"

Him explained to Laestrella.com.pa that "... the National Government is making every effort to achieve a minimum of 70% of hotel occupancy by the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018."That would be an optimum return on investment for hoteliers."

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More on this topic

Panama: Hotels React to Low Occupancy Rates

March 2016

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.

Panama: Higher Fines for Vacation Rentals

November 2015

The Tourism Authority is proposing tougher actions against casual vacation rentals, raising current fines and reducing the time it takes to impose sanctions.

The draft law which aims to create tougher sanctions for those renting homes to tourists will be presented to cabinet ministers in the coming weeks, according to statements made to Prensa.com by Gustavo Him, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority.

Fines For Vacation Rentals in Panama

September 2014

The campaign against property being rented out for tourism purposes establishes penalties with fines ranging from $5000 to $50,000 for those who promote and commit the crime.

The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) has opened up a communication channel for businesses and individuals to report cases of houses rented to foreign tourists in the capital, in compliance with Law 80 prohibiting this activity.

Boom in Vacation Rentals Hurts Hotels

April 2013

Hotel owners are complaining of unfair competition from apartment owners who rent their properties for tourism at low prices.

Hoteliers in Panama believe that competition is not fair because these property owners do not pay tourist tax and work illegally.

Although there is a law that prohibits renting apartments to tourists for less than 45 days and which is punishable with a fine $50,000 for repeat offenders, apartment owners who have failed to sell their properties see in the vacation rentals a way to recover their investment.

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