It Is Time To Welcome Visitors Back To Panama
As most of us adjust to the new normal of life in a COVID-19 world, the question everyone seems to be asking is how safe am I.
Everyone seems to have an opinion of what is safe and what is not. Statistics tell us that the death toll, while disturbing, is not as bad as many other things we choose to engage in daily.
Getting on public transportation, driving a car, or going to the grocery store all have inherent risks. More people die of suicide than the virus. The virus takes lives, but so does the flu. Governments the world over are struggling with the economic impact of closing businesses and the question of what should or should not be allowed to stay open.
While I do not always agree with the decisions being made by lawmakers, I do feel that we are in one of the safest places on Earth. Panama remained closed to international travel for over 7 months and the government seems to have a handle on things a little better than other countries.
Recently the borders were reopened to international visitors with protocols in place to manage the influx of the virus. With the borders open visitors are beginning to appear in our beach areas and resorts.
The big thing now is to keep our visitors and residents feeling safe. Feeling safe does not always equate to full freedom to move about without masks or dine inside without social distancing. It does, however, need to be a safe and relaxing atmosphere. We are ready to invite visitors to return with the understanding that we will not be compromised by careless acts of self-indulgence.
As the public starts returning to our little piece of paradise, let us take a look at how we are welcoming our guests. The perception of our visitors goes a long way to building the travel industry and the rate of return.
Many people who leave here will tell friends of their experience, good or bad. A happy visitor will return year after year and bring friends back. The resorts and restaurants in Panama will not survive if our visitors are not made to feel safe and welcomed.
My point with all this is that, as residents of this beautiful country, we must be welcoming and respectful of our guests. The people coming to Panama now are looking for a place to retire or a beautiful tropical vacation.
If all the businesses are closed when they get here, the likelihood of them staying season after season is slim. We must all try to support our local businesses and help others when we can.
I, for one, want the resorts to be full of international visitors and profitable. These profitable resorts add to the economy of the country over and over. The visitors spend money on things far beyond the cost of their stay. The airline’s profit and the street vendors are able to feed their families. The trickle-down equates to more and nicer places for all of us to enjoy.
Please join me in welcoming back our visitors and support the safe reopening of the economy of Panama.
Last July, I published a book to help answer questions for expatriates from all over the world. The book is an honest and transparent work detailing the process for establishing residency in Panama. It mixes humor and adventure, to welcome would-be ex-pats and visitors to this beautiful country.
The book “2 Retire In Panama?” is available on Kindle and Amazon.com.