Panama is turning more and more to entertainment with a profitable investment, like casinos. Therefore, a lot of entrepreneurs are trying to make the country into the “Las Vegas of Latin America”.
Last year in the isthmus, casinos generated revenues that surpassed $600 million dollars from only their gaming machines, which gives this proposal even more weight. This is without considering the international concerts, which brought in profits of $100.000 and up to one million dollars.
Alfredo Arias, of ShowPro, pointed out that one of his dreams is to see Panama transformed into the “Las Vegas of Latin America”.
In Las Vegas, named the “Entertainment Capital of the World”, from the moment the tourist gets off the plane, there are more than forty activities to be enjoyed, “that is what should be done in Panama and precisely that is where the effort is being directed” expressed Arias.
In our country lots of different events are being held simultaneously and this makes us an interesting destination, he emphasized.
Unlike Las Vegas, we have many other points of interest such as the banking industry as well as shopping areas and beaches, he expressed.
“We have to start working on the entertainment industry, so when the tourist arrives, he can learn about these benefits”, he added.
We have to focus on the casinos because they are a fundamental part of this industry, he stated.
Currently in Panama, there are more than fifteen casinos which have paid the State $4.3 million dollars in this year’s first trimester, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).
The MEF, also mentioned that four more casinos are in negotiations to be able to operate and if this is granted, they would add revenues of $4 million dollars a year.
Jaime Campuzano, vice-president of the Chamber of Tourism, expressed that more important than the figures is that this industry, not only offers gambling, but shows, nightclubs and restaurants which makes them complete entertainment centers.
Ernesto Orillac, consultant to the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), pointed out that most of these casinos are located in hotels that have more than 300 rooms.
This translates as an added value to the hotel infrastructure, he indicated.
For people in the cruise industry like Olga Jimenez, president of Royal Caribbean Panama, the shows will add an interesting option for the visitors from other nations.
For travelers in “one of the 3,400 beds that pass through Panama”, they will be able to visit, for example, The Terracotta Soldiers exhibition without the need of going to Washington DC., for which an American visa is required, she concluded.
Author: Dimar Díaz Nieto