Leaders of this segment in Latin America, like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, have implemented specific measures to stimulate long-term growth, in collaboration with government authorities and convention bureaus.
Worldwide, the big leagues in this business continue to be the United States, as a country, and Europe, as a region. Their success serves as an example for us in our construction of the sustainable model that we want for Panama, which would undoubtedly result in geometric growth in the medium term in these niche markets across the country.
From this frame of reference, the Panama Convention Bureau has been formed as a nonpartisan public-private entity to allow for its continued, independent management. The bureau will also be sufficiently funded to conduct proper marketing of the destination, taking on a significant role as a tourism-promoting institution.
In order to finance this objective, in the near term a proposal to charge an additional 1% on hotel room rates will be submitted as an amendment to the tourism law, which will be supplemented by State contributions to the Convention Bureau.
The bureau is already planning to turn over administration of the new Amador convention center to a multinational company with expertise in managing this type of infrastructure.
This would be the beginning of a new and positive era for Panamanian tourism and a milestone in terms of tourism and economic development. Additionally, it would further strengthen our country as one of the leading Latin American destinations in the conferences and conventions market.