In the News from Panama

Bloomberg: Now is the Time for ‘Flourishing’ Panama City

Bellwether news agency Bloomberg recently published a lengthy feature spotlighting the beauty and opportunity in Panama.

The headline says it all: “Why Now Is the Time to Plan a Trip to Flourishing Panama City.” Author Lily Girma details her experiences exploring Panama for the first time. Like many people, the author acknowledges that her knowledge of Panama was limited. “It dawns on me that I know very little of this country beyond its famous canal,” Girma wrote.

But she immediately gets caught up in the excitement and energy of Panama City, starting with Casco Viejo.

“All the foreigners coming to Panama to build a hotel come to me for advice,” said Chris Lenz, owner of the historic Hotel La Compañia, described in the article as a  “living museum,” a sprawling maze of local history says. “If only half of them make it, Panama is going to be very different in three years.”

This type of coverage in the international business press is a huge validation of Panama’s success story. The article also touches on key themes that will help drive growth in the future. As the article notes, Panama is still relatively undiscovered — many people still know little about the country beyond the Panama Canal.

Girma also notes that Panama is still in its infancy in terms of marketing the beauty and opportunities in Panama.  “Panama lags behind neighboring Costa Rica in touting its ecological riches to international visitors,” Girma says.

But that is changing. Everything about the article touts the untapped potential of Panama. The government has been dramatically increasing its focus on promoting tourism, moving beyond the Canal and other popular attractions.

Adventure travel — hiking, birding, wildlife spotting, and jungle boating — are all growing tourism opportunities. Girma visited the Emberá Tusipono Indigenous community inside Chagres National Park, “a very different type of tourist experience.” 

“We have so much that hasn’t been touched,” David Kianni, general manager at the Sofitel Legend, told Bloomberg.

You can read the full article here.