Panama is ramping up efforts to promote Panama as a cruise destination, as work progresses on a new cruise ship terminal on the Amador Causeway.
The Panama Tourism Authority, Copa Airlines, and Pullmantur Cruises recently announced a new deal to market Panama as a cruise destination, primarily in Latin America. Copa will offer exclusive rates to Pullmantur passengers who embark from Colon, allowing the promotion of special fly-cruise packages.
The deals are available at 14 airports in 8 countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru. The deals will be promoted through mobile ads and billboards, as well as newspapers and magazines, the Authority says.
The goal is to encourage cruise passengers to spend two or three days in Panama before or after the cruise, which can have a dramatic impact on tourism.
“We will have weekly cruise arrivals, which will generate more income and higher hotel occupancy,” Panama Tourism Authority administrator Jennifer Champsaur said in a statement.
Panama is looking to aggressively expand the cruise business, which should soon center around a new cruise terminal on Amador Causeway. A few weeks ago, a consortium formed by Belgium’s Jan de Nul and the Beijing-based China Harbour Engineering Co. won a $165.7 million contract to design, develop and build the cruise ship terminal on Perico Island.
The new cruise terminal should send ripples through the entire Panama economy, including real estate, especially on Amador. In addition to exposing more people to the beauty of Panama, more cruises will bring more people to the rental market on Amador. The Causeway is one of the few areas in Panama City that allows short term rentals, making it a prime beneficiary of those two- or three-night stay overs. (PPR exclusively represents Naos Harbour Island Residences & Marina, one of the premier properties on Amador.)
Richard J. Vogel, president & CEO of Pullmantur Cruises, said the new deal with Copa will generate about $19 million in economic impact for Panama, just from guest and crew expenses.
“I am fully convinced that these strategic alliances with two entities as linked to Panama as ATP and Copa Airlines will be a very important stimulus for our commercial activity,” Vogel said. “They will certainly help us make our product even more attractive.”
In the 2017-18 season, Pullmantur expects its Monarch ship to operate a total of 52 departures from Colon on its “Antillas & Caribe Sur” and “Legendary Caribbean” routes.
The press release (in Spanish) can be found here.