Hotels: Innovate to Attract More Customers

In Panama 30 hotels are now working with an application that allows travelers to book and rent rooms for a number of hours and not for a full day.

Friday, November 10, 2017

In an attempt to raise their occupancy rate, which at the national level has not managed to exceed 45% in recent years, some hotels in Panama have started trying out alternatives. For example, an application made by the Spanish company ByHours, allows travelers to rent a room for 3, 6 or 12 hours, during any period of the day.

"...Guillermo Gaspart, president and founder of ByHours, explained that this system has taken off in hotels that operate in or near airports. Passengers who have to wait for hours for their air connection can spend this time comfortably outside of the airport, resting or having a shower before boarding their next flight."

See also: "The vacation rental boom"

Prensa.com reports that "...According to the founders of the Spanish application, hotels understand that it is better to receive income for renting their rooms by the hour, than to leave a room empty for 24 hours."

"... Sara Pardo, president of the Panamanian Hotel Association, commented that the use of rooms per hour is not new in the hotel industry.  She explains that 'day use' allows users to opt for a room and hotel facilities up until 6 pm for 50% of the normal rate set by the establishment."

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More on this topic

Panama: Hotel Occupancy Rates Fail to Rally

September 2017

Between January and July, occupancy fell by 6% compared to the same period in 2016, and projections by employers for the second half of the year are not very encouraging.

The hotel trade union believes that there are not many options for trying to change the situation in the sector, mainly caused by less tourism promotion at an international level in the last four years. The situation also indicates that perhaps it is not only lack of promotion explaining the low occupancy rates, but also a clear oversupply of rooms.

Hotel Price War Continues in Panama

March 2015

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.

Hotel Occupancy in Panama Falls by14%

August 2012

During the first seven months of 2012, occupancy was down 7% compared to the same period in 2011, while the figure for July 2012 was 14% lower than in July last year.

The number of visitors to Panama has not decreased, so the decline in the number of occupied hotel rooms is explained by the continuous addition of new hotels, with beds being added that end up unoccupied, especially in the Panamanian capital.

Too Many Hotels in Panama?

April 2011

If growth in the number of tourists doesn’t reach 25% per year, hotel occupancy will fall from the 74% seen in the first quarter of 2001, to just 50% over the coming years.

Panama is growing and so are the number of hotels, which in 2012 will be offering over 27 thousand rooms.

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