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More tourists are discovering Panama
“Descubrir Panamá es Posible” (It is Possible to Discover Panama), the marketing campaign enacted as a joint venture between the Panama Tourism Authority (Autoridad de Turismo de Panamá or ATP) and COPA Airlines with a cost of $2.5 million dollars, succeeded in generating more than 39,000 additional visitors to the country from July to November of 2013 in comparison with the same period in 2012.
Marco Antonio Ocando, COPA’s Marketing Director, explained that the online campaign revolved around the website “www.DescubrePanamaConCopa.com.” During the four months between July and October of 2013, the site registered 935,000 hits, surpassing 1 million hits since. COPA sold more than 1300 airline tickets directly from the site.
Joseph Mohan, Senior Vice President of Business Planning at COPA, stated that the campaign, carried out in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, branded Panama as the “’It’ destination that has it all,” with four areas highlighted: beaches, shopping, city and nature.
Hotel accommodation offers were also promoted, as well as COPA’s “Stopover Benefit,” the program that was launched three years ago in which travelers on connecting flights through Panama can opt to extend a layover stay without additional costs.
Other aspects of the marketing included the purchasing of banner ads on popular websites from media outlets in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. A 30 second video was also uploaded to YouTube which generated 1.4 million visits in a four-month period. It is currently one of the most watched videos on YouTube originating from Panama.
Prominent signs highlighting the campaign in airports of Brazil and Colombia took advantage of captive audiences waiting for flights or luggage.
Ocando explained to The Visitor that COPA had no immediate plans for routing flights to domestic airports in Chiriquí, Colón and Río Hato, citing the need for improvements in the infrastructure. “COPA is focused on strengthening the international network to ensure that tourists keep arriving to the country,” he said. “As always, though, we are continuing to look into it.”