“This year, about five thousand people will be hired in hotels, therefore, investment and training are priorities for strengthening the tourism sector”, said Sara Pardo, President of the Panamanian Association of Hotels (APATEL).
Pardo noted that it is necessary to work with tourism associations and authorities in order to achieve better results and position the country as a destination for tourists. She also noted that an investment of $611.9 million for the hotel industry is projected in 2011.
To capture the attention of those interested in working in the tourism sector, Pardo explained that they are participating in conjunction with the Ministry of Education on the "Adopt a School" program. The goal is to provide training at 20 educational centers in the fields of tourism, hospitality and visitor attention.
This program seeks to train students about hotels and motivate them to seek employment in the sector after they have completed their studies.
Hotels currently participating in the program include: The Crown Golf & Resort, The Country Inn Amador, The Crowne Plaza, The Four Points by Sheraton, Gamboa Rainforest, The Gran Hotel Azuero, Holiday Inn, La Casa del Risco, Le Meridien, Miramar Intercontinental, and several others.