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 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 vs. AirBnB War Continues

March 2016

Besides trying to formally regulate housing rentals used for tourism, the DGI is planning better controls on the payment of income tax and ITBMS.

The battle between hotels against vacation rentals made via platforms such as Airbnb continues, and so far the only measure taken by the government has been to collect fines of up to $50,000 and a promise to accelerate the process of imposing these sanctions.

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 by Gustavo Him, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority.

The (Already Lost?) War Against Vacation Rentals

April 2014

The trend of renting out non-hotel accommodation for a few days is global, and it will grow even more in the next 5 years, so regulating it will be a better solution than banning it.

In Central America Panama is the country where the phenomenon of Holiday Rentals shows the highest growth, despite a law prohibiting it.

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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