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Panama 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.

View of Panama City, Panama

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.

A search for 3 hours on November 15 in Panama City resulted in ten properties, with prices ranging from US$18 to US$74 dollars. A 6 hours search found twelve hotels and 14 hotels for a search of 12 hours.

“…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.”

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.”