This post is also available in: Spanish
By Jacob Ehrler
The largest travel agency in the Spanish-speaking world, Viajes El Corte Inglés, has opened an office in Panama. Located in Trump Ocean Club, the agency already has plans for expansion here. Antonio González Hierro, country manager for Panama, shared some of the company’s plans for Panama prior to its formal opening and unveiling of products on June 14.
Viajes El Corte Inglés is the travel division of a Spanish mega-corporation whose principal activity is department stores, but also includes insurance, super markets and hardware. Under the motto “Calidad y servicio” (Quality and service), the travel company is entering the Panamanian market with confidence that its reputation as Spain’s top-level tour company will be welcomed here.
All facets of the tourism agency industry will be offered: corporate, incentive, inbound and outbound. Panama packages will be promoted in the company’s network to seek inbound tourists. Panama-based travelers have something to look forward to as well. According to González Hierro, a wide range of outbound travel options will soon be promoted with “important discounts.”
Currently, the agency brings 10,000 direct travelers to Latin America annually. A promotion arrangement pending with the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) should increase that number significantly.
Eco-tourism is of high interest for the Spanish market. Bocas del Toro is the most popular destination for this segment, but González Hierro also expressed interest in Darien, Kuna Yala and the highland areas of the country. Currently, booking a trip to see the Canal at the Miraflores Visitor Center through Viajes El Corte Inglés costs around $70 per person.