With great potential to become a global leader in tourism, Panama is presenting itself at FITUR, the International Tourism Fair of Madrid, as a destination that combines modernity with a rich ethnic and colonial past. This morning, the first day of the fair, the Prince and Princess of Asturias were at Panama's stand to officially inaugurate it. FITUR will run until this Sunday, February 3.
Heritage and culture, indigenous communities, ecotourism, beaches, jungle and mountain landscapes, shopping and leisure are some of the offers available for the traveler to this country. The commemorative acts of the V Centenary of the Discovery of the Pacific Ocean and the inauguration of the Biodiversity Biomuseum are additional attractions that are new for this year's fair.
From January 30 to February 3, folklore and popular culture will also be present at the 33rd year of the tourism event, with the participation of the Panama Carnival Queen and a group of women wearing the traditional pollera costume. Visitors will be drawn to the attractive two-tier stand, decorated with the country's main tourism resources, by the sounds of DJed national music and offers to sample Panamanian coffee and rum.
Panama received over 2 million international visitors in 2012, some 6% more tourists than the previous year, who brought revenue of more than $2,000 million dollars into the country. Projections show that in 2013 tourism will grow by 10%, according to official sources in the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP).
Panama has been chosen as one of the top destinations for 2013 by the travel publication Condé Nast Traveller. In the past year, three of the most important international publications, The New York Times, Forbes and National Geographic, selected the country as one of the places to visit, due to Panama City's transformation into a luxury destination, the appeal of Old Town and the Canal and the diverse and renovated hotel availability and tourism attractions in the country.
This year Panama presents an attractive two-level stand that displays the most representative tourism resources of the country.