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Tourism in Panama is one of the country’s main economic activities. Tourism in Panama has been increasing very quickly over the past years. Thanks to Panama’s cultural and natural beauty, its political stability and huge incentives from the government, tourism in Panama has been growing steadily. In 2012, Tourism in Panama accounted for 9.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.
The biggest share of travelers come from the United States of America, Canada, Europe as well as Central and South America. Lately, Panama is becoming very popular internationally and is regularly voted as one of the top destinations to visit, so by the New York Times in 2012 and by CNN in 2013. Renowned international hotel chains have also discovered Panama and many luxury hotels have opened their first hotel in Latin America in Panama City, so Trump Ocean Club or Waldorf Astoria.
The most important types of tourism in Panama are business travel, cultural experiences, history tours, beach vacations, sustainable tourism, shopping and adventure trips. The main highlight of tourism in Panama is the Panama Canal – a masterpiece of engineering that will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2014. In the same year, the Museum of Biodiversity by the famous architect Frank Gehry will open its doors for the public and be another highlight not to miss by any visitor to Panama.
The main attraction of tourism in Panama for any traveler is the country’s diversity. From the vibrant and cosmopolitan capital Panama City to the picture perfect tropical islands of San Blas, inhabited by the Guna indigenous tribe only, it is just a 30 minute flight. The contrast between the Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro with their Afro-Caribbean culture and relaxing atmosphere and the exuberant vegetation and neat coffee plantation in the highlands of Boquete or the colonial heritage and folkloric traditions of the picturesque villages of the Azuero Peninsula couldn’t be bigger. And the surfer’s villages of Santa Catalina and Pedasí with Playa Venao or the divers’ paradise of Coiba Island are again another side of Panama.
Thanks to the short distance between the destinations, tourism in Panama is best arranged as a multi-destination package. Depending on every travelers interests, wishes and budget, tourism in Panama will be an amazing combination of eco tours, cultural activities, festival visits, adventure tours, beach stays, self-drives and agrotourism.
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