Panama’s convention is slowly starting to move up the world’s rankings, according to the latest data from the International Association of Congresses and Conventions (ICCA). While still lagging the world’s big convention destinations, Panama moved from 19 to 10 in Latin America in 2016, and from 58 to 51 globally, in terms of number of meetings, the organization reports.
By all accounts, conventions and meetings remain a relatively untapped resource for Panama. The business is growing—and hotel companies have been adding rooms to meet demand—but progress has been slow, considering Panama City’s prominence as a business hub.
That effort will receive a big boost with the completion of the long-delayed Amador Convention, which will be the biggest in the city. The Amador center is 45 percent completed and should be ready by the end of 2018, Panama Tourism Minister Gustavo Him, told reporters.
Panama hosted 45 events in 2016, ranking above Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, according to the ICCA data. Big events included the Congress of the American Confederation of Urology, the World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology and the Panamerican Congress of Rheumatology, which totaled 4,988 attendees, Telemetro reports.
From January to May 2017, Panama has scheduled 43 events, according to the Tourism Authority of Panama.
Paris ranked number one in the world for meetings in 2016, with 196, the ICCA reports. Vienna was second, followed by Barcelona, Berlin and London.