Panama: Private Tourism Investment in Protected Areas

It has been announced that public use regulations that will allow construction of hotels, restaurants, transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure within protected areas will be issued midyear.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The regulation is being prepared by the Tourism Authority of Panama, the Panamanian Chamber of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment, as part of the EcoturAP project, announced by the Varela administration in March this year. This initiative aims to exploit protected areas in order to develop sustainable and ecological tourism. reports that "... within Ecotur AP they are designing public use regulations, including guidelines to be followed by investors who are interested in building infrastructure within protected areas. Under this regulation the construction of hotels, restaurants, transport systems and other activities that improve the experience of tourists will be allowed. "

"... The regulations for public use will not be the same in all protected areas, because each has unique characteristics and limitations to support a certain amount of visitors, such as Coiba. "

EcoturAP spokespeople indicated that it is expected that the regulation of concessions within protected areas will be ready mid year.

More on this topic

Conflict Resurges Over Tourism Tax

February 2017

Protests have been made in Costa Rica over the Treasury's intention to charge sales tax on services provided in recreation centers, contravening a ruling made by the Administrative Court in 2015.

The National Chamber of Tourism said that three companies in La Fortuna de San Carlos received notification from the Directorate General of Taxation which indicated that they were required to pay sales tax of 13% on recreational services offered to tourists.

Panama to Construct Highway Rest Stations

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The government announced that it will construct the stations at 80 kilometer intervals along the Pan American Highway and they will feature restaurants, parking and small stores.

From a statement issued by the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP):

PANAMA September 25 (ATP) - The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) has developed a series of initiatives such as tourist resorts along the Pan American Highway, informed the Administrator of the institution, Jesus Sierra Victoria during the XIV International Tourism Forum PANAMCHAM, which took place at the Sheraton hotel.

Costa Rica: Sales Tax on Tourism to be Reviewed

August 2014

After complaints from the sector about the adverse implications of taxing tourism services in protected areas, the government has announced that they proposal will be revised.

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) announced it will support a reform of the regulations recently proposed by the finance ministry, which sought to impose a 13% sales tax on tourism activities carried out in protected areas.

Tourism Concessions in Historical Sites in Colon

August 2014

A bill presented in Panama would allow the construction of marinas and docks and the granting of concessions to develop tourism activities in historic areas in the City of Colon.

The initiative presented in the National Assembly on August 4, aims to increase the influx of tourists to the historic areas of Portobelo and San Lorenzo, declared patrimony of humanity 34 years ago.

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