Panama tourism represents 10 % of GDP.

The main sectors are :

  • Tourism related to trading.
  • Beach tourism.
  • Eco-tourism.

In 2013, 2,2 million tourists visited Panama. This represents a total turnover of 3,3 billion USD, rising 10 %.
First 2014 semester confirms positive trend with an increase of 15 % compared to the first 2013 semester.

A tourist in Panama spends an average of US $365- 385 per day ( the highest figure in Central America).

The average length of stay ranged from 5 to 6 days. In 2012 the New York TIMES elected Panama as the number one place to visit out of 45 internationals destinations.

The government of Martin Torrijos ( 2004-2009 ) has initiated the implementation of a strong tourism development policy. The establishment of the first tax exemption law in this sector was voted in 2005.

 Between 2010 and 2013, hotel investment sector reached 1,17 billion USD, which represents the construction of 7,000 additionnal rooms, 90% in Panama City.

Despite these investments, the IPAT believes it lacks 40,000 hotel rooms in Panama, especially in the areas of Cocle and Chiriqui who have inadequate hotel facilities.