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Representatives of Panama’s hotel sector, led by the Panamanian Association of Hotels (APATEL), recently met with the Panama’s Tourism Authority (ATP) to discuss strategies to position the nation as a top travel destination.
The meeting was attended by travel sector professionals as well as Gustavo Him, acting ATP administrator. All present recognized the need to attract more visitors to the country and to sell Panama as a unique and affordable destination that can be reached with just one flight.
Sara Pardo, president of APATEL, recognized the importance of a closer working relationship with the Tourism Authority. “We must promote all of the attractions that Panama has to offer” because the country “has the hotel infrastructure necessary to carry off large-scale events,” she said. Currently, Panama has a total of 28,424 rooms nationwide. Of these, 65% are located in the capital city, 12% in the province of Coclé and 9% in the province of Chiriquí.
The objectives set for this new tourism promotion campaign include increasing the number of tourists for 2019 by 50%; increasing total room nights and average tourist spending; developing Panama as a holiday destination with domestic travelers; and promoting the country internationally along five major axes: shopping, nature, city, beaches and culture.
Gustavo Him revealed that the ATP’s investment budget for 2015 totals $12 million, of which almost 95% will go to institutional advertising, with the remainder earmarked for the development of Panama as an events center. Him said that the campaign will focus on the North American market (United States), the Latin American market (Brazil, Colombia and Mexico) and the European market (Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Portugal).