The number of international arrivals to the country last year grew by 10% compared to 2015, reaching a record 2.9 million visitors.
During the year 2,925,128 international arrivals to the country were reported, and over 70% came in by air, which represents the main means of entry.2016 showed growth of 13.8%; in other words, almost 260 thousand more arrivals than in 2015.
Tourism entrepreneurs have suggested setting up a border post in El Naranjo in order to encourage the arrival of international tourists coming from Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
The announcement of the possible construction of a coastal highway in the Pacific, represents an opportunity for entrepreneurs in the tourism sectorto further enhance the development of tourism in the area and also provide a route for foreign tourists arriving at the Liberia airport in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
The number of visitors from North America who came into the country between January and July fell by 3% year on year, while the flow of European tourists grew by almost 7%.
In order to recover some lost ground in the US, Canadian and Mexican markets, an important part of international tourism promotion contract for the next two years will be run in North America.In the first months of the year the number of Canadian tourists who arrived in Panama fell by 27% compared to the same period in 2015, the flow of Mexican tourists fell nearly 5%.
Through an agreement with the Spanish wholesaler Aquatravel, for a period of twelve months a weekly charter flight with 300 passengers will be coming to Tocumen from Madrid.
The agreement between the Spanish tourism company and Adventure Tourism 2000 also states that "... at least half the passengers coming in the charter will stay in Panama, taking into account that a percentage will use the air link to connect from Panama to other destinations in the region.
Viajes El Corte Ingles will be selling tourism products in El Salvador in its sales network in Spain and carrying out a promotional campaign from March 15 to October 31.
The agreement aims to increase the number of Spanish tourists visiting the country, which in 2015 was around 20,000. The promotion will be done through the marketing channels of the agency and will be reinforced by a campaign that will run until October 31, 2015.
In the first half of the year 1.4 million tourists visted the country, only 1.7% more than in the same period in 2014.
From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT):
In the first six months of the year, our country received 1,415,046 international arrivals; that is, more than 23,429 tourists entered through all ports, according to data provided by the Directorate General of Immigration (DGME) and analyzed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
During the year 2.3 million tourists came into the country, of which 48% came from South America, 24.3% from North America, 12.7% from Central America and 2.5% of the Antilles.
The increase of 4.7% compared to 2013 did not solve the problem of low occupancy in hotels, because the supply of rooms also continued to rise. A drop of 20% was reported in financial income from this sector.
As part of the strategy to attract tourism in 2015, Panama intends to consolidate the US market and improve its position as a hub and shopping destination for South American countries.
Panama wants to establish itself as the first tourist destination in the region, therefore the government will be promoting the country's potential by emphasizing the momentum it has in the United States, from where 25% of tourists visiting the Isthmus come from.
In Panama the increase in room supply has caused a price war between hotels trying to attract travelers and increase the occupancy rate which on average is not more than 60%.
Hotel occupancy in the country has been declining since 2011, when it stood at 68.6% dropping to 59.3% within the sector this year, according to figures from the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP). In contrast to this, the number of tourists arriving in the country and the expenditure made during their stay in the country has not stopped growing.
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