PROMTUR Panamá, the international destination marketing organization (DMO) of Panamá, participated in IMEX America in Las Vegas, which was held from October 11-13, to spotlight its ongoing efforts to grow the country’s meetings and conventions sector. The organization has much to showcase, with solid initiatives that include a new convention center, the launch of its new touristic brand “Panamá: Live for More,” improved connectivity and airport facilities, increased accommodation options, and more.
“We are extremely proud to continue publicizing the incredible advantages that Panamá offers the meetings, events and incentives (MICE) industry segment, based on its key location, ease of access, improved facilities, variety of meeting space, and the hotel options available in Panamá City and throughout the country,” said Fernando Fondevila, CEO for PROMTUR Panamá. “Further, through a dedicated and knowledgeable sales and support team, we offer planners a wide variety of products, services and incentives for hosting events in Panama, and a wealth of opportunities to dazzle attendees with exploration of the country’s exceptional biodiversity,” added Fondevila.
Key to PROMTUR Panamá’s initiative is the new Panamá Convention Center, located along the Pacific Ocean at the entrance to the Panamá Canal. Opened in 2021, the convention center is the largest and most technologically advanced facility of its kind in the region, with sleek modern design, an exhibition hall of 15,400 m2, 16 meeting rooms totaling 2,400 m2, and occupancy for up to 23,000 people. Onsite banquet services are driven by a passion for local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients to celebrate the culinary and cultural heritage of Panamá.
The country and its convention center have attracted several major international events of late, including FIEXPO Latin America, SAHIC, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), AR Adventure and several associations’ congresses.
Taken together with more than 10 hotels located within easy proximity of the convention center, each with meeting and event space for up to 1,000 people, Panamá is now firmly positioned as a strong player in the region’s MICE sector.
Along with the lineup of meetings and exhibition spaces, PROMTUR Panamá offers a well-conceived strategy for offering corporations and associations a comprehensive experience that guarantees the success of their events while opening eyes to the culture, traditions, and attractions that differentiate Panamá as an authentic destination.
PROMTUR Panamá supports client events with services including inspection visits, airport transfers, welcome receptions and much more. Similarly, the organization offers unique tourist experiences that enable participants to take full advantage of the natural and cultural attractions and beauties of the country.
Those include visits to the Biomuseo to learn about the country’s surprising biodiversity; the Plaza Mayor Museum to travel to the time to Colonial Panamá; and the Panamá Interoceanic Canal Museum to discover the fascinating history of the route that now connects the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as those who worked tirelessly to build it more than a century ago.
Easy-to-access natural experiences include connecting with nature in the Emberá Querá indigenous community; visits to the jungle with expeditions to Lake Gatún; a walk through the Metropolitan Natural Park to enjoy the forest and its beautiful wildlife; as well as the zipline in Gamboa that delights with unforgettable views. And don’t miss the signature experiences of the Panamá Canal in all its splendor and a tour of Panamá City, modern and ancient.
Across the last year and thanks to its strong incentive program, PROMTUR Panama managed to capture 83 events, 50 of which have already been executed.
Panamá offers unparalleled and easy access via direct flights from major international airports. According to data from Tocumen International Airport, the country is experiencing a quick and clear recovery from the recent global travel slowdown with more than 13 million passenger arrivals expected for 2022, a figure very close to the 2019 record.
Indeed, during the first eight months of this year, airport traffic reached more than 10 million passengers, with 28% corresponding to the North American market. During the month of August Tocumen International Airport increased direct routes to 83 destinations through 18 commercial airlines that offer services to the main cities of North America and Europe. And in June 2022, the airport announced the opening of a new terminal, boosting operational capacity of Panamá’s central hub and increasing the number of boarding gates to 54 and remote aircraft parking positions to 12. Copa Airlines, the state carrier of Panamá, reportedly anticipates operating more than 280 daily flights and welcoming some 6,500 passengers per day at the new terminal.
Panamá City counts approximately 20,000 hotel rooms, with another 10,000 more throughout the rest of the country and very easy access to all. Due to its small size and peculiar geographical shape, visitors can travel from one coast to another across Panamá in a matter of hours, making it the only place in the world where one can see the sun rise over the Caribbean Sea and set in the Pacific Ocean on the same day.
Panamá City is a thriving cosmopolitan destination dotted with myriad attractions, not least a tropical rainforest within its city limits. As a UNESCO creative city for Gastronomy, it is home to a vibrant and diverse food scene. Travelers looking to stay in the heart of this district can select from various luxury and boutique hotels including newcomers La Compañia and Sofitel Legend.
● La Compañia, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, highlights three different eras of Panamá’s history with opulent modern design revitalizing a landmark location. Each of the hotel’s three wings restores a piece of the old town (Casco Antiguo) to the height of contemporary luxury. (Opened spring 2022, with the American wing debuting later in the year)
● Sofitel Legend, the modern French luxury brand with iconic properties around the world, will unveil its first hotel in North and Central America, bringing its quintessential art de vivre to the historic district of Casco Antiguo. Built directly out into the water, with unobstructed and impressive views of the Pacific Ocean and Panamá City’s striking skyline, the hotel will feature a superior mix of facilities and amenities. (Opening Fall 2022)
Since its implementation around a year ago, the new tourism brand platform “Panamá: Live for More” has reinforced the country’s attractiveness for those visiting for meetings or conferences by inspiring active participation in unique cultural and tourist experiences and creating stimulating moments through endless activities such as the appreciation of exceptional historical heritage, and visits to ethnic communities, natural parks, Caribbean beaches, and of course the Panamá Canal.
PROMTUR Panama recently signed key alliances with industry associations looking forward to leveraging the advantages of the destination for the MICE sector, such as the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Latin America).
The Visit Panamá booth at IMEX America will be supported by 19 representatives from the country’s local sectors, all ready to provide in-depth information about Panamá, along with daily activations showcasing the country’s colorful culture.
To learn more about Panamá, visit www.tourismpanama.com/things-to-do.