Tourism, a strategic sector for Panama

Posted on 2021-07-30

During the Panama Invest in Tourism forum, representatives of the government and the private sector presented the opportunities offered by this sector in the country. 
Tourism in Panama is worth US$7 billion, which represents more than the income of the Panama Canal and the financial sector, hence its importance for the country’s economy. For this reason, both members of the public and private sectors highlighted the advantages offered by the nation, as well as examples of sustainable and innovative projects, within the framework of the Panama Invest in Tourism forum, organized by Forbes Latam in collaboration with the Panama Tourism Authority and ProPanama.
During his welcome message, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, President of the Republic of Panama, emphasized that the country is a modern, democratic, transparent, and welcoming nation that possesses the best air and maritime connectivity in the region.
Thanks to these advantages, global companies such as P&G and Maersk have chosen Panama as a strategic point for their operations in the region, agreed Carlos Giraldo, senior vice president of P&G for Panama and Developing Markets in Latin America, and Antonio Domínguez, president director for Maersk in Central America and the Caribbean, during their participation in the panel “Panama, a hub for international investments”.
José Alejandro Rojas, Panama’s Minister Counselor for Private Investment Facilitation, mentioned that the government will continue to generate all the conditions to keep attracting investments, including its privileged geographic location, the use of the dollar, and great socio-economic-political stability.
Regarding the tourism sector, Iván Eskildsen, Panama’s Minister of Tourism, highlighted the profound transformation this sector is undergoing, which is based on sustainability, conservation, and cultural and ecological heritage. He mentioned the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism 2020-2025, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a model to be implemented in other countries of the region, during the Forbes Talk Panama, an innovative vision for tourism.
Afterward, representatives of three innovative tourism projects shared some reasons they invested in the country. Chris Lenz, founder and CEO of La Compañía, explained the benefits of transforming a monastery in Panama’s Casco Antiguo into a boutique hotel that is committed to sustainability.
Andrey Gomez Valverde, general director of Islas Secas, explained the importance of promoting conservation tourism, while Raúl and Daniel Arias de Para, founding president and executive vice president of Canopy Family, talked about the actions they have implemented for over 20 years in favor of environmental protection.
Claus Kjaerby, Director of Operations for Geoversity, highlighted the government’s focus on tourism development with an emphasis on research and conservation, which opens the door to scaling this sector incredibly.
During the second panel of the day, Morris Palmer, founder of Los Buzos Resort, Rene Gomez, board member of Scuba Panama, and Annie Young, president of the Panamanian Sustainable Tourism Foundation, gave their opinions on how to strengthen sustainable tourism through water care.
Finally, Hans Pfister, CEO of Cayuga Collection, explained the advantages of Isla Palenque, a sustainable resort in the Gulf of Chiriqui, a protected natural area, while Ivan Eskildsen, Panama’s Minister of Tourism and Eduardo Neira, better known as “Roth”, founder of Azulik Group, highlighted the importance of preserving nature and the nation’s ancestral culture while considering that it is a paradise of opportunities for investors who have that shared vision.
Source: Forbes staff