Panama is an ideal and easily accessible destination for all world travelers. It is a country that has a multitude of tourist, gastronomic and cultural options that range from bathing in incredible beaches with crystal clear waters offered by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Another attraction is that Panama is home to countless species of both terrestrial and aquatic animals, mysterious jungles, historical and natural heritage, as well as offering a diverse range of experiences to enjoy as a family or as a couple.
As Panama is a country that is advancing more towards modernity every day, it offers visitors an active and cosmopolitan life and, as it has a very pleasant climate throughout the year, it has the privilege of offering its visitors a direct flight or connections to the Tocumen International Airport, very easy from the main cities of North, Central or South America.
The airport is one of the most important air terminals in Latin America by number of destinations, operating flights to and from more than 70 cities in America, Asia and Europe, covering a large part of Latin America. It is also the main hub of operations of the airline Copa Airlines.
The airport’s second phase of expansion has allowed it to increase its capacity by more than 50%, now allowing it to handle up to seven million passengers per year.
It should also be noted that with the opening of the branch of line 2 of the train that leads to the airport, it will help to mobilize more visitors in the country, all this is part of the efforts for the reactivation and growth of the tourism sector in Panama.
In fact, the Panamanian airline, in order to generate more visits to the country and achieve a more solid economy, will operate flights to the cities of Baltimore and Austin in the United States and Manta in Ecuador.
With these three new destinations, “Copa reinforces its leadership in Latin America and strengthens the position of Panama and the Hub of the Americas as the main connection center in the region,” Christophe Didier described in an exclusive interview with La Estrella de Panamá , Vice President of Sales for the Panamanian airline.
These new destinations, full of history and with great tourist attraction in such important markets for the airline, represent a window of opportunity to generate a tourist and cultural exchange and increase business between Panama and the United States, Panama and Ecuador, said Didier.
In 2022, the various initiatives promoted by the airline have resulted in more than 100,000 additional tourists to Panama, highlighted the sales vice president. These results have been the result of a series of promotional campaigns that include incentives and special rates on air tickets, as well as the lifting of sanitary requirements to enter the country, and the recovery of air connectivity through the Tocumen International Airport.
Hand in hand with the Tourism Promotion Fund (Promtur), the first phase of the Panama Stopover program campaign together with the airline, started in August 2021 and ended in September 2022, obtained excellent results, since May 2022 they visited Panama more than nine thousand tourists per month, surpassing the figures reached in the same period of 2019, Didier explained.
Regarding these results, Fernando Fondevila, CEO of Promtur, pointed out that 1.8 billion was the estimated economic benefit that was generated for the country in 2022, as a result of the actions of the Promotion Fund.
Of that total, $218.9 million is attributed to the direct marketing of the tourism brand “Panama, Live for More” and $1,519.1 million to the performance of strategic alliances. Meanwhile, $85.4 million are the product of the Incentive Plan and International Events Recruitment Program for Panama”.
Given these figures, Fondevila pointed out that Panama managed to recover in 2022 a large part of the values of 2019 in the tourism sector. “We know that there is still work to be done to achieve full recovery and that the early successes we have achieved in terms of promotion and marketing of the destination are not a guarantee of future success. In a highly competitive market, the key is to be consistent, as well as to maintain a sustained investment over time”, she highlighted.
Didier recognized that in terms of passenger demand, the tourism industry continues to grow at levels that exceed projections, “which has allowed us to continue growing in the region. However, one of the biggest challenges that we continue to have this is the high cost of fuel worldwide, which greatly affects the industry in general, as well as the unstable economic situation in the region, ”he stressed.
What does Baltimore and Austin offer?
Austin is one of the largest cities in the State of Texas. Down-to-earth yet sophisticated, laid-back and cosmopolitan, that’s Austin’s personality—it bills itself as the “live music capital of the world,” but this endlessly fast-paced city is also earning a reputation as a food and drink paradise . From hot spots on the food scene to emerging establishments, this city has a wide variety of offerings to recharge after listening to the best bands that combine rock, blues and country.
Over the past few decades, the small college town where Willie Nelson developed his signature musical style has grown into a bustling capital city with world-renowned festivals, world-class attractions, brilliant city views, and 2 million people in the area. metropolitan.
In the afternoons from March to October approximately, Austin has a very peculiar and unusual tourist attraction under the Congress Avenue bridge. Millions of bats known as “Mexican Short-tailed Bats” migrate every spring from Mexico, it is a very exciting sight.
To continue with the adrenaline, go to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA, for its acronym in English) an experience that you will enjoy to the fullest; In addition to its world-class track where the famous Formula 1 race is held, it is the venue for countless events throughout the year.
Baltimore is known as the “Charm City” for hosting more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the United States.
No trip to Baltimore is complete without a visit to the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which defended the city during the War of 1812. Learn about Maryland’s African-American heritage at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum (Reginald F. Lewis Museum) , the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum (Great Blacks National Wax Museum) and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park (Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park).
If you’re looking to experience world-class dining and a vibrant arts scene, visit any of the city’s charming neighborhoods. Baltimore is a foodie city; the Zagat guide places it in second place on its list of the “Best 17 Gastronomic Cities of 2015”.
Both Austin and Baltimore will join the thirteen already operated by the airline in the United States: Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Denver, Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Fort Lauderdale.
Finally we have the city of Manta, Ecuador, located just over 400 kilometers from Quito, the capital, and about 200 km from Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. Its main tourist attraction is given by its cozy beaches and the Galapagos archipelago.
The many clubs, discos and bars that fill it with life at night, its luxury gastronomy and its many sports centers contribute to its wide tourist offer. It stands out for the neatness of its streets, which is not always seen in the largest cities. Also, it is characterized by the friendliness and hospitality of its people, which contributes to making it such a popular destination that all Ecuadorians want to go to.
Didier acknowledged that even though all “our destinations are important, secondary destinations allow us to connect to markets that no other international airline connected before, as is the case of Manta in Ecuador. For the first time, this route will have a direct international connection to the Hub of the Americas, which will also allow it to connect with the entire region.”
With the pandemic, according to Didier, “we understood the need to become more efficient in order to compete in the new competitive context in the region. That means being more efficient in our operation, but it also pushes us to continue to respond to the changing needs of our passengers. For this reason, we have an important focus on improving our digital service tools to facilitate the travel experience of our passengers.”