Panama’s new convention center debuts with cruise industry event

Panama City, Oct. 19 (EFE) .- The Panama Convention Center marked its grand opening on Tuesday by hosting the 27th Annual Conference of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which brings together the largest cruise lines in the region.

“I am happy to share with you this inauguration of the Panama Convention Center, strategically located at the (Atlantic) entrance of our canal,” said Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo.

“For us, this celebration represents regional recognition of Panama’s regional leadership in the hemisphere’s fight against Covid-19,” he said.

More than 100 executives from 22 cruise lines attend the conference.

To encourage cruise lines to make Panama a home port, the government of the Central American country is offering discounts on fees paid to transit through the Panama Canal.

Panama’s “constant efforts” to maintain its attractiveness as a cruise destination have made it the rightful venue for the annual conference, said FCCA President Michele Paige.

The convention center, built over nine years at a cost of $ 208 million, can accommodate 25,000 people and is seen by authorities as a potential stimulus to recovery from the pandemic, which has reduced Panamanian gross domestic product by 17 , 9% in 2020.

“This is a segment on which we are betting as one of those that can most quickly help reactivate our economy and the one that can most quickly fill the nearly 20,000 hotel rooms that exist in Panama City,” Tourism Minister Ivan Eskildsen told Efe.

“An event that fills the (convention center) to capacity with spending of $ 1,000 per traveler, at a minimum, is an injection of nearly $ 25 million for the country in a single event,” a- he declared. EFE adl / dr


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