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January Numbers are in, is Panama on the Verge of A Tourism Slow-Down?

Article Summary:

The influx of tourists to Panama in January posted a slower growth rate than last year, with numbers only reaching a 6% increase.

Photo Credit: Prensa

Original Article Text From Prensa via Google Translate :

Decreases Rate In Tourist Arrivals
The influx of tourists to the country in January posted a slower growth rate than last year. In January 234 000 50 visitors entered the country, 13 000 248 more than in January 2011 or a growth of 6%.

However, this growth represents a decrease of six percentage points compared to growth between January 2010 and January 2011 which reached 12%.

The airport of Tocumen was the main entrance door with about 65% of the movement of tourists. Indigenous protests in late January registered accentuated the red coming reporting the Paso Canoa border crossing.

A report from the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) points out that the entry of visitors through Paso Canoa fell 6% compared with January last year.

Ernesto Orillac, Deputy Administrator of the ATP, he acknowledged that growth is not the same two-digit one, but indicates that a 6% increase in tourist arrivals is positive for the country.

“The challenge for 2012 is to maintain the pace that was achieved last year, and for that we will focus on high potential markets like the United States and Brazil,” he said.

Although the Comptroller General has yet to release the official figure in terms of tourist arrivals in 2011, the ATP indicates that last year entered 4 000 15 2 million visitors, or a growth of 16.1% compared to 2010.

Hotel occupancy in the capital city grew around 5%. Sara Pardo, president of the Panamanian Association of Hotels (Apatel) noted that the first two months of the year have been positive for the hotels in the province of Panama.

Herbalife convention and sporting event Ironman provided a large influx of visitors, and this impacted hotel occupancy, said Pardo. Both events represented the entrance of 9 000 visitors during the month of February.

Apatel calculations indicate that this growth will continue for sure until April, because there are small conventions to be held in this period.

However, the picture is not so clear after April with the opening scheduled for the month of hotel Hard Rock Cafe (Megapolis), which will have a thousand 500 rooms.

During 2011, hotel occupancy fell 2% even though tourist arrivals grew 16% due to market entry of new hotels. This year is expected to enable about 2 000 new rooms in the city, which will impact negatively on the occupation that is projected to fall below 60% in hotels over 100 rooms.

In Panama City built 15 hotels, and for 2014 it is projected that there will be 20 thousand hotel rooms in the capital.

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From Prensa

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