PANAMA ATTRACTS MORE TOURISTS AS WELL AS INVESTORS FROM SOUTH AMERICA

June 25, 2010

Panama has recently seen increases in its economy because of several factors that include its strategic location, a stable government, its financial growth, an outstanding business center, the expansion of the Panama Canal, and other unique features. Most recently, Panama achieved investment grade ratings from the top three ratings agencies - Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s - that classify Panama as one of the most economically stable countries in the region.

Tourism is one of the key industries in Panama, and as such is drawing more visitors. Many of them are now coming from South America, showing an increase in the first four months of the year according to the ATP, Panama’s Tourism Authority, when 161,239 South American tourists arrived in Panama, which represented a 6.9% growth compared to the same period in 2009.

With more tourists coming to Panama, more hotels are under construction, and new ones, from modest to luxurious, have been recently inaugurated. The occupancy rate also increased between January and April in hotels with more than 100 rooms, reaching 74.8% with 180,512 guests, reflecting a 15.2% growth over for the same period last year. The tourists accounted for 495,135 overnight stays, averaging 2.7 nights per person, according to the ATP. Panama City has 693,600 rooms available.

More investors from South America are also coming to Panama because of the many incentives, features and benefits that are available, and more so with Panama’s recent investment grade ratings that inspire confidence in the country.

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