US report praises Panama
PANAMA. In the short span of the past six years, Panama's tourism arrivals have more than doubled, while tourism-based revenue has more...
PANAMA. In the short span of the past six years, Panama's tourism arrivals have more than doubled, while tourism-based revenue has more than tripled, says a US report.
The growth, along with farsighted, tourism-friendly laws and tax incentives has opened the floodgates for investment in the country. These funds are being channeled back into the tourism sector by way of improving infrastructure facilities, including power plants, telecom projects, overpasses, roads, highways, and bridges.
In fact, the governments of Panama and Costa Rica have announced plans to build a temporary bridge over the Sixaola River, which will eventually be converted to a permanent bridge, costing $13.4 million and increasing the connectivity between the countries.
One of the most notable improvements is the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project, which will double the canal's capacity and allow more traffic.
Recently, focus has also turned to the Enrique Malek Airport in David, the capital of the Chiriqui Province and gateway to the islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui. In early 2007, Gregorio Montecer, Engineer and Advisor to the Director of the Civil Aeronautical Authority, unveiled a $10 million expansion plan for the David airport to be completed by 2015. Upon the conclusion of the first phase of the project -- a $2 million investment to be completed this year -- the upgrades to the runway will allow the David airport to accommodate commercial jets as large as a Boeing 737. Local developers have begun discussions about how to leverage these upgrades into regular international flights.