A $20 million contract has finally been approved for the company VML Inc. to develop a marketing and communication strategy to promote the country internationally.
The implementation of the international tourism promotion campaign will take place between 2016 and 2018, and will consist of a comprehensive promotion strategy, both online and using traditional advertising, public relations and trade marketing (activations) to promote Panama internationally.
After three years without any tourism marketing, the authority for the sector has announced that $10 million will be spent on international promotion, aside from the $5 million already being tendered in a domestic campaign.
The uneven internal and external promotion of tourism in Panama could have seen better days.
The government has announced that in the second half of 2015 it will provide $12 million through the purchase of international advertising and direct activities with travel agencies.
The investment will be over $100 million in the period which covers 2016-2019. The tender with the international agency of global marketing and public relations is in its final stage, and the event is expected to be held in August.
The Tourism Authority of Panama has terminated the contract for $1.3 million signed with Conde Marketing to promote the country during the transmission of boxing matches in Argentina.
The contract, which was renewed in 2014, included the promotion of Panama as a tourist destination during the transmission of 36 boxing matches on the television channel TyCSports. Prensa.com reports that "... The Tourism Authority of Panama rescinded (it) for being onerous".
In order to achieve maximum growth potential and position themselves as a major destination in the region, it is imperative to update the Master Plan for Tourism, developed in 2007.
In the view of tourism enterprises, some of the factors that need to be strengthened are related to the creation of a plan to boost tourism products, work with indigenous regions to boost tourism in these areas, update sector priorities and above all to create the concept of clusters, "... conglomerates which form a more integrated tourist circuit."
In order to overcome the low hotel occupancy rates the private sector is proposing actions in logistics, infrastructure and urban planning; safety for tourists, domestic tourism and development of the country's brand image.
These six axes that govern the plan presented by the private sector aim to increase tourism in the country in the short term. It also includes topics such as the future convention center being built in Amador and signage and publicity of the most visited destinations.
In the next National Congress on Tourism a proposal will be made to define a new vision based on real differentiation axles, chains of products, international positioning, environmental excellence, and human talent.
From a statement issued by the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR):
In coordination with the guild of private companies the Tourism Authority of Panama has announced the beggining of the international campaign "Vive Panamá".
At a meeting between government officials and companies in the sector strategies and development plans for the tourism industry in the medium term were reviewed.
The manager of the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP), Jesus Sierra Victoria, reported that for November the ATP will bring forward the campaign "Vive Panamá" which begins on the 1st and ends on the 31st, with offers for tourists, including dining and shopping .Tourists will receive personalized attention at airports with information on tourist sites in Panama, he added.
Businessmen in Costa Rica are opposing a bill that aims to reduce the amount of money assigned to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, claiming that it will affect international marketing of the country.
At the moment total proceeds from the $15 fee charged for each air plane ticket purchased abroad is assigned to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), but with the bill proposed by the government these resources would be reduced to half and the remaining amount would go to the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
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