65,000 tourists per month pulling into cruise ports

In the first two months of the year, an average of 65,000 tourists have disembarked cruise ships at Panamanian ports.

Between January and February a total of 115,302 passengers arrived, representing a 4% increase.

Last year cruise tourism grew by 11.7%, with a total of 373,505 passengers. Annually Panama receives an average of 135 cruise ships. The Colón 2000 Cruise Port receives 100 of these tourist boats. The cruise season contributes $46.7 million to the economy. Tourists on cruises spend an average of $125.00 when they disembark at port, 50% on tours and 35% on shopping.

The main attraction for these tourists is to learn about the history behind the Panama Canal. They visit the Miraflores and Gatún visitor centers, go on train tours, and visit the Old Town sector of Panama City.

In addition to Colón 2000, Panama receives cruise ships on Lake Gatún and the Pacific entrance to the Canal, at the Flamenco Island marina.

The highlight of the 2014 season is when Pullmantur's cruise ship Monarch pulls out of the Colón 2000 Home Port.

In March the Panama Tourism Authority, along with cruise port representatives, attended Sea Trade, the largest tourism fair in the world held in Miami, United States, to reinforce the Panamanian offer and stay on top of the latest trends. "The number of cruise ships and passengers arriving at Panamanian cruise ports has stabilized over the last three years," indicated Augusto Terracina, from Port Colón 2000.

Source: Caribbean News