TOURISM IN PANAMA: MORE THAN JUST A CANAL
Tourism in Panama has achieved a top spot for several reasons. Panama’s location as a bridge that connects North America with South America and passage through the Canal between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, has been endowed with exceptional natural features.
Among these particular characteristics, Panama has a variety of ecosystems that make an extraordinarily beautiful natural territory, which comes in the variety of its rainy, cloudy, tropical, cool, wildlife refuges in the mountains, Caribbean beaches and oceanic forests, islands, cliffs, lakes, and rivers.
For many years after the construction of the Panama Canal, the country was known mainly by the existence of this waterway for commercial transport. At the beginning of the economic expansion of the late twentieth century and the first decade of the century, a set of new rules in this nation has led growth and foreign investment with an interesting boost Panama’s tourism industry as a generator of a good amount of income.
In 2015 according to official figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Census, 2,550,659 visitors came to Panama in tourism plan (10.7% more than in 2014), leaving the country good profits in the order of 4,171.3 million US dollars (3.728 million more than in 2014).
ECO – TOURISM IN PANAMA
One of the best alternatives that Panama has to continue its plans for economic expansion and at the same time retain its beautiful and exotic nature is to encourage eco-tourism. This form of tourism in Panama, highly widespread among visitors from countries considered the first world is certainly an inclusive way to publicize this Latin American country.
More and more companies create plans, trips and tours that include any of the 17 national parks, wildlife refuges and forest reserves in Panama, activity that generates jobs in areas of the interior, leading population with high conservation terms to occupy rural and jungle areas, injected resources and develops environmentally friendly infrastructure, promoting educational, conservation, healthy and exciting practices.
One of these ecological tourism destinations in Panama is the wildlife refuge Barro Colorado in Gatun Lake, which serves as a nature reserve and at the same time, supplies water to operate the locks along the Panama Canal. This lake is the island of Barro Colorado, protected nature reserve since 1923.
Also, the beautiful beaches of Panama, with a unique ecosystem, are being investigated, the Research Institute on Galeta Island in Colon studies the habitats of mangroves, coral formations and at least 22 species of native tropical birds this island, another way to preserve the Caribbean coast home to several marine species. Here Eco – Tourism in Panama efforts are also directed.
The islands of the archipelago of Las Perlas in the Pacific off the other hand are synonymous with tourism development at the highest level. Contadora with its very luxurious and exclusive properties has maintained the status of island paradise retaining almost all of its nature in their scarce 3 kilometers long island, integrating the beautiful houses and hotels built and combining it with premium services including an airport, boutique type hotel facilities and 100% environmentally friendly.
Around other areas such as the small mountain town of Boquete, near the Natural Wildlife Refuge Boquete, in the province of Chiriqui in western Panama, a few minutes from the city of David, some real estate projects, designed to integrate develop the nature and attract other visitors, who consider it a privilege to have a weekend home or live in “the valley of flowers and eternal spring”, from where you can enjoy the mountain scenery and the view of the ocean to South – Pacific beaches are just minutes away.
As part of the incentives to develop the conservation and natural Eco – Tourism, there is a type of permanent residence granted to the initiatives of reforestation and conservation of biodiversity in Panama. Tourism in Panama is expanding rapidly through methods like this.