With this slogan of warm, emotional belongingness, the isthmus nation has mapped out its ongoing campaign as a travel destination. And in order to make this slogan come alive, a constant synergy of change and growth of institutions, companies and boldface names related to Panama’s tourism is now underway.

Positioning Panama as a leading travel destination in the Central American region is a reachable goal. The country has natural resources and conditions galore: breathtaking scenery, a privileged geographical location and unique environments where it’s possible to find from top-of-the-line world brands to piece together an exclusive shopping tour and practice extreme sports to scouring World Biosphere Reserve sites and living the firsthand experience of knowing a genuine indigenous community still trapped in the old times.

According to a report issued by the Panama Tourism Institute (IPAT), Panama’s tourism accrued a whopping 18.4 percent last year. Investments in infrastructure increase with each passing day, and so do the number of new hotel projects and the effort to streamline the seaport and airport network in a bid to give the industry the launching pad it needs for that positioning.

It’s therefore all about making the most of those niceties based on a coordinated strategy in which all parties involved have a starring role to play, construed on the basis of an ethical attitude of respect for the environment and the cultural and ethnical diversity, as well as of spearheading the initiatives of both the public and private sectors linked to the travel industry.

In this effort, regional integration also counts. Only by sharing criteria, knowing our common strengths and stepping up the human and financial resources we can actually make Central America a wide gateway for incoming international tourists. This is our contribution to make Panama stay somehow in the souls of the travelers, and it’s also an invitation to share current topics that today make the rounds in Panama’s public opinion as far as tourism is concerned.

Jaime Campuzano

President of the Panama Tourism Chamber & Central America Tourism Chamber Federation