Panama accelerates the recovery of MICE tourism

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Panama accelerates the recovery of MICE tourism
Source: Travel2latam
November 10, 2021

PROMTUR Panama works hard to promote the country as a regional leader. To know the details, during IMEX America we have interviewed its CEO Fernando Fondevila

There is no doubt that the MICE segment is recovering the ground lost due to the pandemic. Events such as IMEX America are setting the standard for growth that the segment may have in the coming years. PROMTUR Panama has set up a stand where it promotes its attractions, there we were able to exclusively interview its CEO Fernando Fondevila, we share his responses below:

How is the international promotion of Panama organized?
PROMTUR Panama is the destination marketing organization responsible for international marketing. We work closely with the Tourism Authority of Panama, which is the regent of the sector and we have very clear roles defined. ATP is the one who handles all the administration and planning of the tourist offer both for leisure tourism and for the meetings industry.
We participate in IMEX America, positioning Panama as an ideal destination for the meetings industry. Our country has a fusion of races and cultures and for that reason offers extremely authentic options. In addition, we are the best connected country in all the Americas through the Tocumen International Airport.
The objective is for Panama to be consistently exposed in the international market, we were created by an act of law that has endowed us with public funds, therefore we are a public-private organization and we have an organizational structure similar to a private company but Logically we are governed by a law that conforms to the destination markets organization and the public funds that we receive are reported by a Board of Directors which has two public officials, one of them the Minister of Tourism and the other is the President of the National Tourism Council and then 5 members of the private company with extensive experience that set the standard for commercialization in the international market.  

Have you just launched the promotional campaign, how has it been programmed and what are its objectives?
At the end of September we launched the new tourism brand that for us is a marketing platform with which we are going to consistently bring all the products to the international market that we have developed. We are going to reach a segment of conscious travelers of medium or medium-high socioeconomic level who are concerned about leaving a legacy in the place they visit. Who seek not only to reach and discover new places that inspire them, these are people who when they make an impact not only do that financially, but also seek to leave a better place than they found it. We have a sustainable tourism master plan established for five years and we are inviting conscious tourists to know more about Panama because it will also help us to take care of our natural resources, historical resources, That's what we are looking for. We are very proud of our origin and the cultural and natural heritage and we want it to be taken care of as well.
We have peculiarities such as a capital that is surrounded by a unique neotropical forest in the world. We have established the routes that we are going to promote, among them is the green route where the visitor can know all our rich biodiversity and our paradisiacal beaches, among others. Then we have the cultural heritage, the result of the fusion of nationalities and ethnic groups, including seven indigenous peoples that coexist.
The new tourism brand was launched on September 29 with an international campaign in digital media. In a first phase we are actively developing content right now so that the visitor can see everything we have to offer, in addition we also have participation in fairs and events with a calendar throughout the year, we have already participated in the first half of the 2021 and now we are present at fairs that came together in this second semester. We have had a presence at FIEXPO, an event of which we will host for the next 3 years and next week we are taking an important group of event organizers so that they can get to know our country and all its attributes, the historical and cultural heritage routes and the new infrastructure of the city of Panama.
It is important to note that now 100% capacity is allowed to hold events. We have been able to make measures more flexible due to having a population with high levels of vaccination. We even invite all the brothers from Latin America to get vaccinated for free in our country, they only have to spend at least 2 nights in one of the participating hotels. Our tour operators have put together packages including an appointment to apply the AstraZeneca vaccine. The program is running for the next 3 months and whoever gets the first dose will obviously have to return at 28 days for their second vaccination.

What initiatives have you put in place to support the MICE segment?
At the beginning of the year we have established a policy of attracting international events, that is, Panama is actively seeking to attract international events promoting us as the ideal destination at your next meeting or convention. This project goes hand in hand with an incentive program that we have of approximately 2.2 million dollars per year destined to incentives for corporations that organize events. We seek to contribute as much as possible to make your event more successful with logistical facilities and also to offer guests a unique experience.

What are the most important source markets for Panama?
The Master Plan sets the standard for us, the nine countries are strategic for us, the United States is among the first block. Panama with 15 cities with direct non-stop flights. Second is Brazil and also European countries such as Spain, France, Germany and then in the third block we have Costa Rica, Colombia, Canada, and Argentina, these are the 9 countries where we are focusing in the next 5 years.


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