Tuesday, November 9, 2010

During the first six months of this year, tourist activity increased by 9.6% in Panama, summary by Juliette Passer


(Based on article from PANAMA AMERICA Oct 16, 2010)

Panama Tourism and the Canal

Although the Panama Canal reflected a decrease of 3.3% in revenue during the first six months of the totaled US $871.5 million. The Canal is one of the most important sources of income to the Republic.

According to the Panama Tourist Authority (ATP). The Canal Revenues amounted to US $871.5 million during the first six months of this year. Meanwhile, the Tourist Authority of Panama (ATP) advisor Ernesto Orillac said that new investments in restaurants, malls and others projects have transformed the area into one of the most productive sectors of the country. Purchases by tourists have become an important source of revenues and made tourism an important productive sector. There are two hotels and one condo-hotel being built in the in the Albrook Mall area.

During the first six months of this year, tourist activity increased by 9.6%. The total number of tourists arriving was 652,000, which is 10% more than during the same period last year. Many international fairs are being held in Panama now increasing tourist incentives. Hotels reported 3,847 rooms occupied during this period which is more than the 3,437 rooms during the same period last year.

The ATP is making plans to provide transportation to in-transit tourists to take them to Metro Mall for their purchases. This initiative is not new; it is also being used in Miami.

Angelo Paredes, president of the Panama Association of Tour Operators says there has being an increase in tourism since 2007. The Cruise Ship season started yesterday so these figures will be more attractive in the coming months.

Finally, the Government reports it is planning to offer The Atlapa Convention Center free for events activities. This offer would increase the number of people coming to Panama as well.

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