Owners of small and large hotels in the capital city are seeking alternatives to promote the country and keep occupancy levels high, one way or another, on the weekends.
Among the strategies they seek to implement are to offer package deals to tourists to encourage them to visit the beach areas.
Armando Rodrigo Tatis, president of the Association of Small Hotels, stressed the need to work on staff training, so as to provide good customer service and thus maintain quality standards.
Drops in regions
From January to May 2013, the number of visitors from North America who arrived at Tocumen International Airport dropped by 6.5%, as did those from Asia, with a 3.7% decrease.
In the North American market, 123,603 tourists entered Panama from the United States; 24,432 from Mexico (recording a 2.3% increase compared to 2012); and 31,940 from Canada.
According to the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), other regions, such as Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Oceania, saw increases in the number of visitors who selected Panama as their tourist destination.
In the case of Central America, a total of 53,782 visitors arrived in the first five months of the year. In this region, Costa Rica is the country that sends the most visitors to Panama, and with 19,386 visitor arrivals on record they have reached a 4.6% rise over the previous period.
Whereas the numbers of Nicaraguan and Honduran tourists to Panama also climbed, those from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize fell by 6.1%, 10.2%, and 19.1%, respectively, according to data from the ATP.
During their stay in the country, visitors spent $1,023 million dollars from January to May 2013, a 10.7% increase in comparison to the same period in 2012, indicates the ATP figures.