Airbnb negotiates with Panama

Shawn Sullivan, Airbnb representative for Central America and the Caribbean, indicated that Airbnb is willing to collect the 10% lodging tax, if the government drops their 45 minimum stay rule.

The agreement could bring to an end to the long battle between the government, the hotel industry, and property owners.  Sullivan has explained that countries that have signed similar agreements have seen a growth in tourism by 20% and 30%.

Last year, some 2,200 owners in Panama registered in Airbnb collected $7.2 million through the rental of about 3,800 properties distributed throughout the country reports La Prensa.

Armando Rodríguez, president of the Panamanian Hotel Association, told La Prensa that Airbnb must comply with market rules if it wants to operate legally in the country, the main concern of hoteliers is to attract more tourists.

Last year 54,000 customers entered the country while in Costa Rica the figure reached 380,000. “Panama has the potential to attract more tourists, but we must increase the advertising, “said Rodriguez.