The document will be analyzed by the Master Plan Follow-up Committee and presented to the World Tourism Organization, which collaborated in the design of the program.
One of the bases of the plan has been the elaboration of a map identifying 26 tourist destinations in the country, instead of the current 9. 21 programs have designed for these 26 destinations and, in practice, will be applied in 72 projects.
The "Master Plan" should become the main tourism development tool in Panama in the next 12 years.
Along with the Tourism Law, the new offices of the institution and the publicity campaign, the preparation and execution of a Master Plan for Tourism was one of the strategic objectives established by the Ruben Blades administration of the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP).
The creation of the National Tourism Fund and the adoption of a hotel classification system are some of the provisions that have been established.
Roberto Gonzalez writes in article published on Prensa.com, "One of the measures that was most expected by the private sector was the creation of Fonatur, a trust fund from which the resources for promotion campaigns, the execution of the Tourism Master Plan and the Project Management office will be obtained.
In the face of the global financial crisis, the government and private sector are betting on tourism which promises to exceed $2 billion in earnings for 2009.
Laestrella.com.pa reports: "The president of the Panama Chamber of Tourism, Jaime Capuzano, highlighted that there are several important tourism projects in development, and said that 'the most important' is the execution of the 2020 Tourism Master Plan, which is considered to be the pillar for development in the country in this sector.
Law #8 promotes tourism activities in the country by offering tax relief on imports, real estate and capital investments, to name a few.
A report by the Panama Tourism Institute (IPAT) reveals that 12 investment projects totaling $92.5 million have been approved.
This will be the last year in which capital investment projects can benefit from Law 8, a measure designed to foster investment in the country's interior, Carl-Fredrik Nordström, Assistant Manager of IPAT, pointed out.
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