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Strong US dollar puts Panama tourism on downturn


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Strong US dollar puts Panama tourism on downturn

Posted on July 14, 2016 in Panama

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IN SPITE OF trouble spots around the world and threats from terrorist groups, tourism worldwide continues to climb, but not in Panama.

The country, now over endowed with hotels  has seen a 2.8 percent decline in visitors for the first five months of the year compared to the same period of 2015.

Between January and May, Panama  received 1.1 million visitors, a decrease of around 33,000 as compared to the previous year.

Tour operators and others in the tourism industry are calling on the government to make a greater investment in promoting the country. They say they are competing with neighboring countries, such as Colombia, that spend much more on international advertising.

The government has pledged to spend $20 million over the next two years, which may seem high to Panama budgets but pales in comparison to other destinations

The goal is to promote Panama in U.S. and European markets, in particular where there is the availability of direct flights to Panama.

Officials also plan to spend less in markets in Latin America because the strong U.S. dollar makes it more expensive for people from those countries to visit Panama.

The weak Canadian dollar and fading sterling  is also reducing demand.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-4/strong-us-dollar-puts-panama-tourism-downturn

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