Conference Design

Connecting the Dots towards a Diverse Events Destination

8th June 2022

Have you been to Panama?” was the first thing Fernando Fondevila, Chief Executive Officer of PROMTUR Panama, asked during our interview at IMEX in Frankfurt 2022. After our conversation, it was clear that the country is worth more than just a casual visit, as it combines biodiversity, ease of accessibility, meetings infrastructure and know-how and tangible support for association events.

Words Vicky Koffa

Sustainability And Biodiversity

Nestled at the cross path of the Americas, Panama offers a unique and diverse ecosystem in culture, history, and natural beauty. Hundreds of birds and marine species call Panama home since the country combines mountain and sea as well as connection to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 30% of its coasts is protected territory meant to preserve the much-needed biodiversity and inspire sustainable tourism, following the government’s master sustainable tourism plan. 

In fact, Promtur has been collaborating closely with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as Fondevila explained: “Our country is actually one of the places where the most rainforests in the world have been studied in a continuous way. The Institute has been studying Panama, which is a living laboratory, for many years and they’re helping us develop and adopt sustainable practices when it comes to business tourism. As a result, Panama is now one of the three countries in the world to have achieved carbon negative status this year, with a big proportion of the territory being rainforest.”

Live For More

Panama’s recently launched brand platform, Live For More, makes the connection between environmental and social preservation and responsible event organization. The platform highlights Panama’s three core heritage pillars and routes – Cultural Heritage (multifaceted culture), Green Heritage (extraordinary biodiversity), and Blue Heritage (ocean wonders) and aims to stimulate a sense of responsibility towards the country’s unique offerings. Fondevila said: “Live for More inspires planners and meeting attendees to add to their in-country presence with memorable and lasting experiences that can’t be duplicated elsewhere.”  

The brand can now attract associations related to trade, agriculture, and finance – some of the country’s main industries, always under sustainable practices. Fondevila added: “Panama is a multi-regional hub for many large corporations, like Procter and Gamble and DELL Corporation, with regional offices in Panama, mostly because of our connectivity to the world. It is important for us that they get to know better our resources and have the opportunity to conduct congresses and exhibitions in the country. We are working hard in that direction as well as cultivating ambassadors to promote our key industries.”

The Panama Convention Center

The country recently inaugurated the highly anticipated Panama Convention Center, located just at the entrance of the Panama Canal in the Pacific Ocean, in Panama City. The center is the largest in the region with an exhibition hall of 15,400 m2, 16 meeting rooms of 2,400m2 and an occupancy of up to 23,000 guests. More than ten hotels in proximity to the convention center offer their own meeting spaces for up to 1,000 people each, on top of flexible accommodation options. 

Fondevila says: “The opening of the convention center positions the country as a strong player in the region’s business events sector. We can now invite associations to hold events in Panama not only showcasing our facilities, but also our authenticity. In addition to that, we have an incentive program connecting with associations and their regional offices to promote Panama’s advantages and give them the opportunity for site inspections. On top of that, we have assigned a budget for associations, based on the number of attendees which come to the country, in order to finance meals, presentations and transportation, to name but a few examples.”

Panama Convention Center
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