Monday, May 28, 2012

Hotel opening would boost competition in Panama City, Panama

The hotel industry in Panama City, Panama is on the eve of experiencing a substantial increase in competition with the entry of about a 1,500 rooms available for tourists at the Hard Rock Hotel, located on Avenida Balboa. The franchise, known for its restaurants and hotels throughout the world, will open officially in October 2012, but has begun to offer half of its rooms in a soft opening in order to expose the local market to its restaurants and bars.
Following its opening, the hotel would be the largest in terms of rooms in Panama, representing about 7.5% of 20,000 hotel rooms planned for completion in 2014, of which 50% will have been built between 2010 and 2014. It is expected that the increasing number of rooms will create fierce competition among industry participants to obtain a high occupancy rate, which is somewhat in decline, but will be good for tourists looking for better values. This drop represents a decline of six percentage points of the annual rate of 12% between January 2011 and January 2010. Despite the decrease in occupancy rates, the inflow of tourists to the country grew by 16% during the same period, surpassing the 2 million tourists, reflecting the greater diversity in hotels. Among the other brands soon to open in Panama is the Waldorf Astoria, with 126 rooms and the Hilton Panama, with 351 rooms.