The announcement was made during the Colombian president's visit to Panama last Friday, July 25.
President Varela Rodríguez indicated that, "we seek a tourism management model similar to that of the island of San Andrés in order to develop direct flights from Bogota to Panama."
That was what brought the Panama and Colombia governments together to discuss how to attract more tourists to Río Hato, a region located 140 kilometers southwest of Panama City that offers urban development projects, hotels, and very important beaches, added Varela Rodríguez.
The Panamanian and Colombian chief executives, along with the ATP administrator, also went on a flyover and tour of the Pacific coast to observe various beach sites, including visits to Punta Arena and Buenaventura.
Varela Rodríguez and Juan Manuel Santos were accompanied by the Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado; the Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Ángela Holguín; the Minister of the Panama Tourism Authority, Jesús Sierra Victoria; the General Manager of Tocumen,Joseph Fidanque III; and the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Alfredo Fonseca.
Hours earlier, during a meeting in the presidential office, the heads of state had broadly examined their bilateral, regional, and international relations, as well as discussed other issues on their binational agenda, such as tourism.
Boost tourism in both directions
The leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening air connectivity between Panama and Colombia, by seeking the support of airlines in both countries and jointly promoting tourism and new destinations, so that the natural heritage of the two nations may continue to generate economic prosperity and growth for their citizens.
They analyzed the benefits Colombian migrants in Panama have achieved through the regularization processes, noting the need to keep the channels of cooperation open in order to foster the welfare of the migrant population and tackle issues such as human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants.
Source: Panama Tourism Authority