Wednesday, June 27 2007 @ 05:34 PM EDT
Contributed by: Anonymous
Panama has the potential to be one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world if a few simple and important changes are made in the legal structure and marketing of this country.
The infrastructure is already here in Panama to handle the influx of European and North American people (the target market) desiring the tranquility and peace of a tropical destination. What is missing is tourism friendly legislation and cooperation of the airline and hotel industry to create desirable and affordable vacation packages. I use the model industry of Cancun as a comprehensive and functional integration of transportation, lodging, and marketing to facilitate healthy and sustainable growth. Now it is by far the most profitable industry in the region and the area of Riviera Maya is the fastest growing region in Mexico. Some will argue reasonably that it has too much growth in too little time, but the employment and hospitality industries continue to grow unabated and employ the native people in higher paying and more stable jobs than they would ever hope to achieve otherwise.
Fast forward to Panama now. If recent legislation is any indication, the politicians here have not a clue as to the intricate nature of a cooperative government enmeshed with forward thinking, intuitive legislators cooperating with competent tourism executives. This symbiotic relationship of government and tourism is what sets successful destinations apart from those that are hindered by corruption and incompetence. The airfares and immigration structure here are counterproductive to any large multinational conglomerate to develop an affordable middle class tourist destination competing with Cancun. It is a shame and travesty to the people of this great nation to stifle such potential and sustainable growth.