During the months of July to November 2013, they achieved attracting some 393,000 passengers to Panama, including an additional 39,300 as a result of the strategy. According to Panama Tourism Minister Salomón Shamah, the Panamanian government invested U.S. $2.5 million, and they successfully recuperated this investment, as the state treasury received more than U.S. $3 million directly from this promotional campaign.
Marco Ocando, marketing director for the airline, said that the campaign was broadcast via international media, particularly digital forms and Copa's internal channels, such as ads on Panama in their in-flight magazine or videos. A microsite with information was also created. The campaign was held mainly in countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil, the latter of which had the highest percentage of passengers with 25%, and shopping tourism was the biggest seller.
Ocando explained that their target of 17,000 new passengers was calculated by the impact of the investment, taking into account that the average passenger stays four days and spends about U.S. $678.
For his part, the Deputy Minister of Tourism Ernesto Orillac said that the figure of U.S. $25 million is based on a four-day stay that yields about $25 million, and calculated by the data of the balance of payments of the Comptroller of the Republic. Taking into account also the U.S. $8.1 million in sales tax plus the tax on transfer of goods and furniture (ITBMS) would total an additional $2.5 million. Orillac indicated that this does not include the $1.5 million more in airport charges.
As for the next step of the campaign, Shamah said they are still discussing whether or not to continue and how to do so. While they don't want to do a copy-paste job, he feels that they should repeat the campaign, this time not limiting it to Copa but including other members of the sector, such as hotels and travel agencies. He also warned that the ATP hasn't allocated this within their budget, and that the first version was financed through a special government credit.
An additional figure provided by the executives and officials was that more than 28,000 passengers were transported on Black Friday, numbers that were not included in the results of the "Panama is possible" campaign.