Panamanian tourism grew 40% in four years

The 5.6% growth in tourism activity in Panama during 2013 is considered "very satisfactory" to the Deputy Administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, Ernesto Orillac, according to official reports.

"We have reached our goal; these figures are aligned with our increasing air connectivity from Europe and North and South America," the authority stated, adding that Panama has the highest tourism spending in the region.

Tourism figures for 2013 from the Tourism Authority's Statistics Department and the Comptroller General show that 2,201,854 visitors entered Panama through different ports in that period and contributed $3.3 billion in foreign currencies to the Panamanian economy.

According to official statistics, from 2009-2013 there was a 40.9% growth in the number of visitors who entered Panama. Furthermore, the money spent by tourists grew by 7.9%, with an actual increase of $241.80 compared to expenditures in 2012.

Official sources attribute these figures to a sustained economic growth of over 7%, effective incentive laws, the tourism competitiveness index, the canal expansion, infrastructure development, and an extended air connectivity that makes Tocumen international the second most important airport in the region.

Source: Caribbean News Digital