DMO key in selecting Games host

The Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) played a major role in the reception and meetings held by the Panama Olympic Committee (COP) for the ODECABE delegation, who were on an inspection visit to Panama to choose the country that will host the next XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018.

ODECABE President Héctor Cardona of Puerto Rico appeared satisfied with the conditions of several significant sporting arenas and the Panama hotel offer. Camilo Amado, President of the COP, commented that they presented all of their assets to ODECABE and are confident in being chosen as the venue.

The DMO was instrumental in programming and overseeing the visit by these important authorities. "The DMO is an effective institution that should be strengthened," said Amado. The DMO participated and coordinated VIP visits to the Miraflores Visitor Center, dinners in hotels, a visit to Gamboa, and city tours, as well as producing an interesting dossier reflecting Panama's aspirations.

Panama will invest $250 million if selected to host the event, over the contenders of the Venezuelan city of Puerto La Cruz and Colombian city of Barranquilla.

Of this investment, Amado indicated that $100 million dollars would be earmarked for the construction of the Olympic Village, another $100 million for new sports venues and facilities, and $50 million for the costs of organizing and training the athletes.

On this last point, Amado explained that they plan to contract foreign coaches and trainers and will offer scholarships to athletes so that they may continue training. The investment in building the Olympic Village would be recovered by selling them as apartments and housing solutions, he declared.

The goal of the million-dollar investment in preparation, he stressed, is to raise the bar "and play the best role possible in anticipation of these Games." Panama previously hosted the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1938 and 1970.

The venue for the 2018 Games will be announced on June 11 in the Mexican city of Veracruz. On October 29, 2013 the host of the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games was awarded to the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango, but last December the Guatemala Olympic Committee renounced it, citing a lack of funds to fulfill the organization's commitments.

Source: EFE Panamá