Airbnb eyes Panama's market

November 9, 2019
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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

Airbnb is looking to expand more into Panama.

Although a few years ago its use has been preceded by the controversy in the Central American country because hoteliers consider it an unfair competition, to the point that they have pressured the Authority of Tourism (ATP) to outlaw your presence by not being regulated.

Airbnb, a company that offers a software platform dedicated to the offer of accommodation to individuals and tourists,” is planning a meeting with journalists to its Public Policy Manager for Central America and the Caribbean, among them is Carlos Muñoz.

Muñoz will speak on the topic "Home sharing" as a generator of employment, promoter of economic growth and a channel for the global insertion of Panama.

On his LinkedIn profile, Muñoz details that he:

"works to promote Airbnb's public policy priorities with governments, regulatory agencies, our host communities and other stakeholders in the Caribbean and Central America. Mainly focused on fiscal and regulatory issues that belong to shared housing. Great emphasis on minimizing corporate threats and creating a business climate conducive to the long-term growth of Airbnb.”

The then administrator of the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP), Gustavo Him, explained in February 2018 that the technology platform in the country “was not regulated” and also recalled - due to the complaint of hoteliers for their low occupancy - that in the district of Panama, it is forbidden to rent out homes or rooms to individuals for less than 45 days because it constituted unfair competition that tenants committed against hoteliers.

However, he admitted that this rule does not apply in the interior of the country and also said that Airbnb is an international company, but that any internet rental practice was not legal in Panama.

Last February, Muñoz himself said in a statement that more than 90,000 travelers arrived in Panama in 2018, through Airbnb, which meant a 65% growth in guest arrivals compared to 2017.

He added that 3,200 hosts in Panama opened the doors of their home to offer locals and foreigners a diverse, inclusive and sustainable travel experience. These are urban destinations, but also in rural areas or areas usually less benefited by the arrival of travelers. The platform had 5,300 hosting providers registered in the country earlier this year.

A typical host in Panama earned revenue per year of up to $ 2,100 during 2018, he said. The platform is one of several that specializes in offering accommodation via the internet.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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