A new report from Central America Data confirms that apartment owners in Panama City are still providing illegal short term apartment rentals to tourists.
This comes it spite of the risk US$50,000 fine for repeat offenders.
Panamanian hotels are lobbying against this “unfair competition” from apartment owners who rent their properties at lower prices.
“On the Internet you can find hosting offers for less than US$80 per day, in exclusive areas of the city such as San Francisco, Paitilla, and Punta Pacifica, while city hotels offer rates ranging from US$99 to US$130 on average”, explains Prensa.com.
Ernesto Orillac, of the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) claims “there is a security issue. The people who rent these apartments pay cash and it is not known what their movements in the country are. ”
He states that the ATP would employ more examiners to strengthen operations, due to the negative effect of this activity on the hotel sector.
Officials also point to the security threats to the residential buildings where this sort of activity occurs. Allowing random tourists into normally secure building can lead to breaches of administration rules and even robberies.