Panama will hold Virtual Tourism Expo to revive the sector
Panama will hold the 1st Virtual Tourism Expo in September with a view to reactivate the sector, which is experiencing "the worst crisis in its history" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its organizers reported on Thursday.
The fair, which will take place from September 25 to 27, is expected to be attended by some 200 local tourism service providers and nearly 600 international professional visitors, focused on holiday tourism and wholesalers in the business meetings and events segment from countries, such as the United States, Portugal, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Latin American region.
Travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotels and resorts, event professionals, congresses and conventions, car rental companies, among others, are welcome to participate in the event.
The exhibition is organized by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), the National Chamber of Tourism of Panama (Camtur), the Tourism Promotion Fund (Promtur) and the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP).
The tourism sector is going through its worst crisis in history, which has limited the foreign tourist spending in Panama since mid-March, and this is an unprecedented fair for being the first virtual fair we hold, said ATP administrator, Iván Eskildsen.
Eskildsen acknowledged in an interview with EFE on July 31 that Panamanian tourism is "now at 0%", and that the figure of between 60% and 80% drop in tourists worldwide predicted by the World Tourism Organization it is close to what we are seeing as a projection for this year in Panama.
The president of the board of directors of Promtur, Fernando Duque, affirmed this Thursday that the virtual fair will be used to generate a positive impact on tourist activity, from booking discounted rates to travel when allowed, to planning important events and conventions in Panama, which has the infrastructure for it.
During the fair, called Experience Panama Expo, the Summit of Ministers of Tourism of Central America and the Dominican Republic will be held, with the main theme 'Natural and Cultural Heritage: the key to promoting sustainable tourism and economic development in the region', reported the Cciap.
Panama, which accumulated 77,377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,700 deaths as of Wednesday, is experiencing an escalation of the disease that stopped the reopening of the economy, which the Government estimates will fall by 9% this year.