Tourism Authority of Panama and the Ministry of the Environment launch 1,000 km of trails project
Panama seeks to preserve important routes, critical for tourism, ecology and scientific discovery with new program
The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) in alliance with the Ministry of the Environment, has launched the project '1,000 Km of Trails', which will be developed progressively at the national level, rehabilitating trails in land and aquatic geographical areas. Created within the framework of the Tourism, Conservation and Research (TCI) strategy inserted in the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism (PMTS) 2020-2025, the project aims to conserve nature and diversify rural economies through the development of industry of outdoor recreation and green tourism in protected areas. It is also aligned with the Plan Colmena of the National Government of Panama, which has among its objectives that rural communities benefit from economic activities.
"Tourism based on our green heritage is one of the cornerstones of the economic recovery strategy, and it is incredibly important that we create and pursue these opportunities," commented ATP administrator Iván Eskildsen. “Since as a result of the pandemic, travelers are looking for more contact with spaces of nature where they can appreciate biodiversity. This project launches the TCI strategy, an innovative model that creates synergies between tourism, conservation and research, to speak directly to the preferences of a growing market of conscious travelers ”.
In the country there are 125 protected areas, 30% terrestrial and 10% coastal marine. A thousand kilometers of trails, in addition to including routes and trails in these places, will cover areas very close to communities and private reserves, which are important for the connectivity of protected areas at the national level. Under this alliance, the Ministry of the Environment plans to increase the protected areas on the maritime surface by 2021 from 10% to 30%.
The first phase of the '1,000 Km de Senderos' project will obtain data on the location and condition of the country's trails, as well as information on the interest and capacity of community groups to join a recreation and tourism economy. In phase two, the information gathered will be used to develop and validate work and training plans.
“Protected areas, private reserves, roads between rural communities, beaches, mangroves, among others, contain a myriad of recreational and tourist attractions, but they require infrastructure. Therefore, a multisectoral effort is necessary to improve them. The project will begin with local actors who wish to support the maintenance of these infrastructures and thus open the way to the growth of the recreational and tourism sector in Panama, "said Adrián Benedetti, coordinator of the 1,000 Kilometers of Trails project of the Department of Product Development of Panama. ATP.
This action of the Ministry of Environment is in accordance with the PMTS, which is committed to innovation and sustainability, highlighting the natural and cultural heritage of Panama, for this the scheme of heritage routes of the TCI strategy was updated, through three axes: Cultural Heritage, Green Heritage (biodiversity) and Blue Heritage (marine).