Panama exploits shopping tourism in style of U.S. cities

Panama City is emerging as a leading destination for shopping in the Latin American region, due to its new malls, strategic geographical position, Colon Duty-Free Zone, and the bargains and wares offered to consumers that stand out in comparison to other countries in the continent.

The real estate boom in Panama has also affected the retail sector, leading to the construction of gigantic shopping malls that emulate those in such American metropolis as Miami and New York City.

The oldest shopping center in the capital, El Dorado, is also undergoing a complete renovation so as to not be left in the shadow of these new commercial spaces, which include Albrook Mall, Metro Mall, Multiplaza Pacific, Multicentro, Westland Mall, and Los Pueblos.

El Dorado also has the advantage of its strategic location on the buzzing Ricardo J. Alfaro Road, a route transited by thousands of people heading towards the residential neighborhoods in the eastern end of Panama Province.

Investment by Wyndham

The Wyndham hotel chain recently invested around $40 million dollars to build a luxury hotel in Albrook Mall and thus capture the market of tourists coming to shop.

The hotel was built in a hub of development in Albrook serviced by such modes of transit as the Marcos A. Gelabert Airport, BalboasPort, Panama Railroad, Bus Station, and the future central station of the Metro rail, scheduled to begin service early next year.

This hotel is designed especially for Central American tourists who are lured by deals on the world-class brands advertised daily in Albrook Mall, considered the largest shopping center in the region.

More malls

Smaller commercial centers and strip malls have been built on the outskirts of Panama City, such as 24 de Diciembre, and in professional middle-class residential neighborhoods, including Brisas del Golf and Condados del Rey on Ricardo J. Alfaro Road, seeking to attract additional shoppers.