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Thursday, June 20 2019 @ 11:15 AM UTC

III International Tourism Expo Starts in Panama

Travel & TourismIn 2011 Panama received two million tourists for the first time, who left behind more than $2 billion in spending. At least 135 wholesalers from 29 countries are participating today in the third International Tourism Expo, which this year is dedicated to promoting tourist destinations in the interior of Panama, announced corporate sources. The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) said in a statement that companies from 13 countries will offer products and services in over 140 exhibit booths until next Saturday, when the meeting concludes.

"The International Tourism Expo drives growth of the tourism industry in the country, allowing exhibitors and international wholesale buyers to establish important business contacts," said the president of the CCIAP, Irving Halman.

In 2011 Panama received two million tourists for the first time, who left behind more than $2 billion in foreign exchange to the country, making this activity one of the pillars of the national economy, according to official figures.

The president of the Chamber of Tourism of Panama (CAMTUR), Annette Cardenas, said this year "we have focused on promoting domestic tourism in Panama, offering spaces, landscapes and world class activities, such as beaches, mountains, ecological tourism, sports (...) and the best fishing sites recognized by professionals."

Expoturismo is organized by the CAMTUR and the CCIAP, is supported by the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP), and is held in the ATLAPA Convention Center in Panama City. During the second version of the specialized exhibition, held in 2011, there were 1800 business contacts, of which 800 were previously coordinated electronically, with a participation of 113 exhibitors and 120 buyers from 34 countries as wholesalers.

The exhibitors come from: Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, United States, India, Indonesia, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and St. Martin. While wholesalers are from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, United States, Finland, Guatemala, Holland, Honduras, England, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay , Peru, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Russia, Sweden, Uruguay and Venezuela. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Tourism continues to grow and this activity is more and more important to the national Panamanian economy with each passing year. Panama got a late start in the field of tourism in the 70's and 80's compared to Costa Rica, for example, due to the years of the military dictatorship. No one wants to visit a country where you stand a chance of getting tossed out of a helicopter - it's generally a negative vibe. But since the US invasion of Panama in December 1989 and the overthrow of Manual Antonio Noriega to reestablish democracy in the country, and the departure of the US military and the full implementation of the Torrijos - Carter treaty at 12:00 noon on 31 December 1999, tourism has been growing steadily. Infrastructure is improving to meet the demand as tourism dollars pour in and companies learn, grow, and strengthen. But there's still a shortage of trained English or multilingual tour guides. Since Aeroperlas went out of business, there are more tourists who want to visit Bocas del Toro for example, than there are airplane seats to get them there. There are lots of little speed bumps that have to be addressed as tourism in Panama continues to grow and prosper.

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III International Tourism Expo Starts in Panama | 3 comments | Create New Account
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III International Tourism Expo Starts in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 29 2012 @ 01:39 PM UTC

Also not very helpful to tourists when they are expected to magically have a toll card to get through on the N& S Corridors! Great first impression of Panama when you get stuck in a massive traffic jam on your way from the airport!

III International Tourism Expo Starts in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 29 2012 @ 09:00 PM UTC

Thanks Don -

2 million per year divided by 365 averages to approximately ~5,479 tourists per day. Let's round that down to 5,000 for easier math and for benefit of the doubt.

On my last trip to Panama, I coincidentally wondered how many tourists visit Panama each year?

I happened to be sitting on a nearly full flight of about 100 pax. I started to wonder how many people on board were Panamanian nationals and how many were tourists. My guess was that more than half were Panamanian, and a bit fewer were true foreign tourists and also I considered that a smattering of people on that flight were traveling on business. But let's lump tourists and business travellers together and call them all tourists. That would give us perhaps a 60/40 split on the flight. So I estimated that there were about 40 of us tourists on board. For sake of arguement, let's round that up to 50 tourists per every plane of 100.

I then wondered how many commercial flights arrived each day in Panama? Does anyone know? My guess is about 25, or about 1 true commercial airliner per hour in a given day.

Doing the math, 25 flights x 50 tourists per flight = 1,250 tourists per day that arrive at PTY on commercial flights. Oh, what the heck, let's make that 2,000 tourists arrive at PTY every day of the year on commercial flights.

That leaves us with 3,000 unaccounted tourists per day that arrive via other means and locations in Panama. But, remember, I rounded down to 5,000 from 5,479 for the 2 million per year figure. So it is really around 3,500 tourists that remain unaccounted for.

But, we cannot forget about commercial aircraft that fly into Albrook, and other airports to the West of Panama City, private aircraft, private boats, commercial ships, buses and those who drive and walk across Panama's borders. Do the FARC in the Darien count? Do the foreign crews on the many commercial ships that pass through the canal count as tourists?

I would argue that a vast majority of true foreign tourists (ones that rent hotel rooms and stay for a week or so) arrive in Panama via commercial aircraft into PTY. I think fewer than 1,000 true tourists per day arrive in Panama via other means and locations other than PTY.

I would argue that the 2 million tourists per year could be the TOTAL of everyone who travels to and arrives in Panama.

I would argue that conservatively, Panama gets perhaps 1 million tourists per year, if they are lucky.

By the way, what is the population estimate of Panama? 3 million or so?

I realize my rough math makes a lot of assumptions, but I think the 2 million figure per year is a pipe dream full of hype to try to stimulate investors. I just don't buy it.

Side note - At night look at Panama City's skyline from the Causeway or other vantage point. High-rise apartments and hotels, at most are lit-up 25-30%. I specifically looked at Hard Rock Cafe Hotel. Only the bottom 1/3rd contained any lights. The top 2/3rds of the building was dark.



III International Tourism Expo Starts in Panama
Authored by: PanaCaz on Saturday, September 29 2012 @ 10:50 PM UTC

Just got back from Expo Turismo. Surprisingly small turnout this year compared to last year. Also noticed quite a few other countries promoting themselves in the show as opposed to fewer local operators.