The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) gave a boost to the request that the different tourist associations have been making for months before the crisis that this sector is experiencing due to the respiratory pandemic of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Jean-Pierre Leignadier, president of the Cciap
, indicated that tourism should be considered by the authorities when making decisions and not be relegated to the background.
Hoteliers and tour operators have criticized the "improvisation and lack of consensus" in the decisions that affect the sector, such as the closure of the beaches during the Christmas and New Year holidays, a measure that left losses of more than $ 14 million to the industry without chimney.
"The closure of national parks, trails and beaches, on weekends, contradicts what is indicated by experts, who indicate that the risk of contagion outdoors is very low, and that these areas are ideal places to develop healthy recreation, so recommended for the mental health of the human being ”, says Leignadier.
Ernesto Orillac, president of the Panama Chamber of Tourism, has indicated that the private sector can contribute its experience so that the authorities can make the best decisions that allow the sector to start a recovery process.
The tourist associations have requested that the circulation of visitors to the interior of the country be facilitated, especially to beach hotels located in the Panamanian Pacific. Currently, the health authorities maintain sanitary fences that prevent free movement to that area.
Enrique Pesántez, a receptive tourism operator, said that the sector has not generated profits for more than 10 months, but at the same time it has to face fixed expenses.
For the Cciap
, Panama must follow the path of Costa Rica
and the Dominican Republic that "have positioned their traditional attractions adapted to the new world reality." In addition to facing mobility restrictions, the tourism industry has been requesting a financial plan that allows the sector to confront a debt that exceeds $ 800 million.