Tourism

Surrounded by sea, illuminated by the bright tropical sun and a rich biodiversity, Panama stands as one of the most attractive tourist destinations. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Panamanian economy which every year generates annual revenues of more than $300 million.

Surrounded by sea, illuminated by the bright tropical sun and a rich biodiversity, Panama stands as one of the most attractive tourist destinations.

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Panamanian economy which every year generates annual revenues of more than $300 million.

Attractive tax incentives

By investing in cruise ship ports, congresses and events through Law 80 2012:

  • Property tax exemption for 10 years to companies in the tourism sector located in the district of Panama.
  • Property tax exemption for 15 years on land ownership and improvements in the development of tourist activities registered in National Tourism Registry for companies located outside the district of Panama.
  • Import tax exemption for 20 years.
  • Property tax exemption for 20 years for hotels that have invested a minimum of US$50,000.

Sector with dynamic growth

GDP growth of the tourism sector is estimated at 9.1% between 2016 and 2017, the third highest among 85 countries. An annual growth of 5.5% is forecasted for the sector from 2017 to 2027.

Increase in the number of tourists

In 2016, 2.4 million tourists arrived, number that reflects an annual growth of 6% since 2007.

Record increase in tourism investment

In 2016, the sector’s total investment was US$1.2 billion, number that represents 5.4% of total national investment. It is estimated that there will be an annual growth of 5.7% during the next decade. The investment will reach US$2.3 billion in 2027.

The best connectivity in Latin America

  • The Tocumen International Airport is the best connected in Latin America. It has the highest number of direct international flights, more than 132,000 a year, connecting all the major cities and capitals on the continent and reaching key destinations in Europe, such as Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands, through direct flights with Lufthansa, Iberia, KLM, Air France and Turkish Airlines.
  • By sea, its connectivity is incomparable. Panama has coasts on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, connected through the Panama Canal. Three cruise lines offer cruise ships in Panama departing from Colon and additionally there are several international ocean liners that include Panama in their routes.

Abundant skilled labor force

During 2016, 296,000 employees were registered in the sector. It is estimated that the number of employees in the sector will grow 5.5% in 2017. The sector will represent 16.6% of total national jobs in 2027, approximately 360,000 workers.

Travel without a visa

Tourists who come from Australia, Canada, European Union, United Kingdom and United States don’t need a visa for stays of up to 180 days in Panama.

We speak english!

Even though in Panama the official language is Spanish, most of the Panamanians speak some English and many speak it fluently, especially those who work in hospitality in the most important tourist destinations.

International events center

Panama has emerged as a place to celebrate great events. To respond to the demand, the new Amador Convention, Events and Exhibition Center is being built, a modern work of 58,000m2, the biggest in Central America, with capacity for 25,000 people, located at the entrance of the Canal on the Pacific side.

High quality of life

Panama City was classified as the city with the highest standard of living in Central America in 2017 and 5th best in Latin America and the Caribbean. The country is considered one of the safest in Latin America.

Medical and Wellness Tourism

Panama has classified #10 in the world regarding the medical tourism industry. The country offers first class treatments carried out by American doctors, which are, on average, 50% cheaper than in the United States.

Download: Law 54 1998

Download: Tourism

The foreign investor finds competitive advantages in Panama that transform into great business opportunities:

Amazing natural beauty in oceans, mountains and tropical jungle

Abundant biodiversity

Colorful folklore

Fascinating ethnic groups

Historic and cultural wealth

Gastronomy

World-class surf beaches

Two oceans, very close to each other

Cosmopolitan life

Excellent offer of world products for shopping

The Panamanian Pacific coast offers many investment opportunities, particularly in infrastructure, tours, aquatic sports, recreation activities and ecotourism.

Perfect beaches and islands: throughout the isthmus, in all the provinces that border the Pacific coast, there are beaches of hypnotizing beauty and numerous islands, many of which are true natural wild life refuges.

Cities and towns open to tourism: Chitre, Parita and many other small, historic cities attract tourists with their picturesque churches, parks and joyous festivities, such as Carnival. Coronado and other resorts are destinations with high level tourist infrastructure.

World-class fishing: with more than 250 world fishing records, Panama is famous for its marlin sport fishing and other species appreciated by fans of this activity. Bahia Piña heads the list of the best places, along with other areas like Cambutal, Laguna de San Carlos, Islas de las Perlas and Playa Morrillo.

Luxury tourism: Buenaventura is one of the most exclusive beach communities located only 90 minutes from Panama City. Located in a gated community, it stands out for its luxury activities such as golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, sailing and a complete equestrian center.
Isla Contadora, located in the Las Perlas Archipelago, offers luxury resorts, crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.

Surfing, water sports and whale watching: for many tourists, the Pacific coast is the ideal place to find waves for world-class surfing. Beaches such as Venao and Santa Catalina are the stages for international competitions year after year. Coiba Island is known for its spectacular diving among a fantastic variety of fish and sharks. Every year, these same waters are part of the migration of about 2,000 humpback whales. Panama is considered one of the best places in the world for watching these majestic cetaceans.

Ecotourism and mountain sports: Panama’s national parks are perfect for hiking, birdwatching, nature photography, canopy adventures and traveling the Coffee route in the Chiriqui highlands.



Go to visitpanama.com

The Caribbean coast offers interesting investment opportunities to companies that operate in the luxury recreation sector and those that wish to exploit the zone’s natural landscape.

Historic sites: one of the most beautiful is the Fuerte San Lorenzo, UNESCO World Heritage site. It is in Colon province and is one of the oldest Spanish fortresses in America. Also, when visiting the ruins in this historic place, tourists can enjoy activities such as birdwatching, diving and canoeing. The Fuerte de San Felipe and Portobelo are other tourist attractions rich in colonial history.

Beaches and ecotourism: Bocas del Toro offers a wide range of fascinating places. Red frog and bird watching, hiking, diving in the coral reefs and surfing are only some of the attractions that join the vibrant night life of the province’s beaches and communities to create a seductive environment year-round.

Stunning islands: in Guna Yala, territory of the Guna ethnic group, the tourist can enjoy crystal clear waters and fine white sand. Additionally, the Guna arts and crafts captivate with the radiant multicolored Molas, creations that have made this culture world famous.

Colon: it’s valued cuisine, that mixes Creole, African and Antillean flavors, is one of the reasons that attracts tourists to this historic city. Tax free shopping in the Colon Free Zone is another great attraction. A wide incentive plan for foreign and local investment is being developed in Colon, a new regime that creates better business opportunities in the Caribbean.



Go to visitpanama.com

COLON FREE PORT: TAX FREE SHOPPING

A government project that will make the city of Colon a tax-free shopping area. The tax exemptions will apply to purchases that range from fashion to technology and from home appliances to toys and candy, both for Panamanians and tourists. The new regime will drive infrastructure development, promote the unique culture of the city and encourage commerce, attracting Panamanians and tourists alike.

0% taxes:

On income for 10 years on the profit.

Real estate for 30 years and preferential mortgage rates.

Real estate transfer for 2 years.

On import of materials and equipment to restore or remodel.

On imports and ITBMS on limited shopping for tourists on a wide range of products.

On imports on shopping for nationals on a wide range of products.

Panama is...

Special Investment Regimes

SUCCESS CASES

“Halliburton established its Latin American regional operations in Panama in 2009 and opened its Business Support Center in the country in 2010. In 2012, Halliburton expanded even further opening their Human Resources Employee Center. Since then, Halliburton has established a transnational center in Panama and is currently exploring opportunities to expand its operations in various sectors within Panama. The key reasons behind Halliburton’s continued investment in Panama include its strategic geographic location and the Multinational Companies Headquarters Law (SEM) which helps to make Panama a profitable location. Additionally, Panama offers good quality of life and school options, which makes the country favorable both for Halliburton and its employees”

Francisco Tarazona, Vice-president
Halliburton Latin America

Last Tweets

ADDRESS

Ricardo J. Alfaro Ave. Plaza Edison, 3rd floor
+507 560-0687
proinvexpanama@mici.gob.pa

Follow us

LOCATION