Gabriela Pedrotti 2020-11-12 10:04:40

The first stage of the consultation period to update the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2007-2020 was recently completed with the participation and assistance of Augusto Huéscar, consultant of the World Tourism Organization. The main purpose of making these modifications to the original plan are focused on developing sustainable tourism to generate more arrival of tourists, increase the number of days staying in the country and higher expenses, while attracting long-term businesses to Panama.

In Huéscar's words, the benefits that these changes will bring would be promoting decentralization, improving the image of the public sector and identifying and overcoming regional bottlenecks. The consultant also mentioned that when the previous plan was written, consumers of that time were different, with lower budgets compared with current travelers, and destinations have changed as well as the supply and demand and a lot of investment has arrived. “You cannot continue working with a plan that has so many changes,” he remarked.

The current consultation, headed by the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), was attended by the Ministry of Culture, MiAmbiente, the International Tourism Promotion Fund and the Tourist Cabinet. During the meeting, the impressions of the sector on the aspects to be updated in the plan that was delivered thirteen years ago were collected. For his part, the administrator of the ATP, Iván Eskildsen, said that everything that arises from the changes will be taken into account and "we will see how we focus on the priority products that, together with the private company, we will develop based on the plan's adjustments, which will be our roadmap ”.

Regarding compliance with the current plan it has been shown that some objectives were met more than others and, in general, the level of execution was low. "In the field of products, there are limited modifications to make, that's the most stable area of all because developing a product is not that easy and we have worked to sell it, package it and put it on the market in the best way" said Huéscar, who also has indicated that the master plan is necessary for the ATP to optimize the use of funds in the next five-year period.

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