PANAMA - Tourism
CEO, Promtur Panama
Fernando Fondevila has more than 25 years of experience in the tourism sector. Before joining PROMTUR Panama, he worked for Copa Airlines in different positions in the commercial area, his last position being regional commercial manager for North America. He has led the successful launch of more than 15 new destinations working directly with strategic partners such as various tourism authorities such as ATP, Visit USA, CPTM-Mexico, Visit Tampa and St. Petersburg, Visit Orlando, among others.
The tourism industry is actively implementing this slogan across sectors, a development commended in President Laurentino Cortizo’s strategic plan. This brand, created from scratch in eight months, represents a comprehensive, long-term international tourism promotion and brand. Launched in 2021, it includes a 24/7 digital marketing platform targeting discerning travelers, aligning their values with our offerings. Our international promotion has three pillars. First is our tourism brand and brand platform, targeting consumers. Second is strategic alliances with airlines, online travel agencies, and global tour operators and leveraging their channels to inspire travelers to consider Panama. These alliances significantly contributed to our economic impact in 2022, and this trend is set to continue, with 17 alliances in place during 2022, they significantly contributed to our economic impact, and this trend is set to continue. Third, we focus on the business events industry, capitalizing on Panama’s suitability for congresses, conventions, and incentive travel. With excellent connectivity, 20,000 hotel rooms in the capital plus 10,000 more across the country, and nearby tourist attractions, Panama offers a unique blend of business and leisure. The country’s infrastructure, unparallel air connectivity, the largest convention center in the region and status as a dollarized economy, coupled with its role as home to many multi-regional organizations, make it an ideal location for hosting meetings and events. Activities pre and post events are a key draw for organizers. In 2021, our destination marketing organization introduced an incentive program to attract more events. We provide comprehensive support to elevate the quality of events through iconic tourism experiences, logistical assistance, and additional services complemented by the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). This collaborative effort ensures that events receive the highest level of support and customer service, contributing to their overall success. This not only brings more events to Panama but also benefits our community and industry, contributing to social development. Since the program’s launch, we have secured 145 events for 2021-2026, with an estimated impact of USD165 million. Recognizing that around 40% of business event attendees return for leisure, this initiative achieves dual objectives.