Gabriela Pedrotti 2020-11-12 10:13:04

Law 80 of 2012 was recently modified to provide more incentives and promote tourism activity in order to boost and give oxygen to the national tourism industry, which has been hit hard in recent years. This initiative will also permeate in different productive sectors of the country to revive the generation of jobs and investment, as stated by the Secretary General of the Tourism Authority of Panama, Magda Durán.

Durán stressed that with Law 8 of June 14, 1994 and Law 58 of December 28, 2006, 29,393 jobs were created, and with Law 80, of which two articles will be modified, 9,205 jobs were already created. This shows that tax incentives help the development of the country. At the same time, Durán explained that all the companies with tax issues from 2015 to date will receive tax incentives until December 31, 2025.

For his part, the deputy Raúl Pineda, proposer of the bill, said that this document aims to encourage investment in the hotel industry in the interior of the country, because tourist attractions are concentrated in that region, while the 80% of the rooms are in the capital city. “Over time the benefits would be greater and employment would be generated, the municipalities will collect more taxes, farmers will sell their products to the hotels, transport service will be developed and the State will be required to provide the conditions for these hotels or large consortia settle in Panama,” he said.

According to Juan Manuel Enrique, vice president of the Pedasí Chamber of Tourism, there are 32,000 hotel rooms in Panama and 20,000 are in Panama City. Destinations such as Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic have 70 thousand hotel rooms and in Cancun, Mexico have around 100 thousand, this information is important to understand the world’s panorama. He added that new international flights are expected, "but we don't understand that the critical mass that an airline needs is based on the number of hotel rooms." Finally, Enrique mentions that two things are needed: increase the number of hotels, as well as the number of tourism products in the interior of the country.

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