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Top Tourism Performer in 2008 Despite Global Economy

The World Tourism Organization rates PANAMA as one of the top performers in tourism results for 2008. Central America managed to grow by almost 8% despite global recession. The growth has a sustained for Panama with an average rate of 12% per year between 2004 – 2008, 1,609,699 visitors entered Panama in 2008, and 211,472 more tourism traffic than in 2007. The Panama Tourism Authority reported that tourism spending totaled $2.2 billion, and 23% more than in 2007, which represents 12% of Panama’s GDP of $18.6 billion last year. Hotel occupancy was at 79% average with a 9 day average stay. The projections for 2009 are 1.8 million visitors and 2 million for 2010, + 200,000 more visitors per year.


Excellent Business opportunities, the Business Center Capital of Latin America, beautiful beaches on two oceans 50 miles apart, Nature, great Caribbean weather, safe, friendly people, easy access, US dollar no exchange rates, tax incentives for investors, favorable asset protection laws, and ranked one of the best "getaway" destination in the World by the press, is among the top reasons that Panama is so attractive for business travelers today.


Panama is next to Costa Rica, enjoys the same weather, rainforest, rich natural diversity, beaches, surf, but with a very cosmopolitan city and rich business environment. Panama is on U.S. Eastern standard time, same time as Miami, Atlanta, and New York. A direct flight from Miami is only two hours, thirty minutes, 2.5 hours. Airfares Miami International airport are as cheap as $251 - $321 on American Airlines, and Continental, depending on your booking requirements and itinerary flexibilities.


Panama has direct daily flights to & from Miami, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles, serviced by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Spirit, Continental, COPA, as well direct flights to major cities in Latin America and Europe, serviced by KLM, and IBERIA.


PANAMA 2008 TOURISM FACTS


PANAMA Tourism Growth since 2004 – 2008 is + 12% on avg.


1,609,699 tourist entered Panama in 2008.


Panama Tourism Authority projects 2 million tourist arrivals by 2010.


U.S. visitors lead the list of countries visiting Panama, with 308,991 visitors in 2008.


U.S. visitors in 2008 grew by + 19.6%


Hotel occupancy rates average: 79% occupancy rate, one of highest in the World.


Hotel occupancy rates grew by + 12%


Total nights sold in Panama last year: 2,522,595 hotel nights.


Average stay is 8.9 days


Tourism sector created a total of 129,200 jobs for Panama in 2008.


Crimes involving tourist was at a LOW 0.04%, Panama is a very SAFE country.


European travelers arrivals are at all time high due to direct flights increasing.