Short term apartment rentals, from a day to a week are a growing feature of the Panama tourism scene following similar trends around the world from Paris to London, New York and Buenos Aires.
If you live in a Panama City apartment building where you paid big bucks for your condo, and are surprised at the regular appearance of suitcase carrying strangers in the lobby - welcome to the new world of tourism.
Panama is looking to introduce tough new laws to stop short term apartment rentals, and the move is backed by the hotel industry and some condo owners.
The hotels, fear competition, especially as there is now an abundance of hotel rooms, but the law of supply and demand doesn’t seem to have kicked in yet, and prices are out of reach for many who are not traveling at the company’s expense.
Some condo residents have concerns over security, wondering what checking is done on the backgrounds of people renting for short periods.
But the authorities, hotels and residents are bucking a world wide trend and, according to Central American Data, Panama should get with it and encourage more tourists to visit the country.
In an editorial, the online business publication says:
In Panama City, the phenomenon is also being driven by the widespread availability of apartments built and purchased as an opportunity to gain profit from resale, which the current market stagnation has left unoccupied.
An article in Prensa.com examines the issue from the point of view of the established hotel industry, whose occupancy levels have been strongly affected by the competition of this trading system, the vast majority of which operate without paying taxes.
"You can find ads online, including specialized pages offering rentals for one night, or up to seven days. Prices per night are less than 100 dollars, well below the prices of most hotels on the seafront in the capital. "
It has been mentioned that sector authorities are preparing a draft law penalizing with high fines and restrictions such as minimum rental periods of 30 days.
It would be wise not to try to go against a global trend that is here to stay, because it favors tourists reducing their costs and brings benefits-including privacy- that hotels can not offer.
The smart thing would be to integrate the supply of Vacation Rentals as part of the overall supply of accommodation both for holidays and business trips.
Newsroom's contribution to the new wave is to offer readers with a place to rent a special rate 3-month advertising opportunity. with the first two months at a discounted rate, and the third month free. Over 50% of our readership is in the US, Canada and Europe.