TU­RIS­MO IN THE CROSS­HAIRS

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas (Centroamerica) - - Q&a - By: Yiz­zet Ber­me­llo Pho­tos: Cour­tesy of CAMTUR

Jai­me Cam­pu­zano is a voi­ce that ca­rries in Pa­na­ma’s tra­vel sec­tor. His re­cent elec­tion as Pre­si­dent of the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Tou­rism Cham­ber Fe­de­ra­tion (FEDECATUR is the Spa­nish acronym) al­so speaks vo­lu­mes of his lea­ders­hip in this en­ti­re world re­gion

Mr. Cam­pu­zano, a man with a so­lid ex­pe­rien­ce un­der his belt as ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger of the Pa­na­ma Ho­tel and Pre­si­dent of the lo­cal Tou­rism Cham­ber (CAPTUR), is by far a ge­nui­ne con­nois­seur and pro­mo­ter of tou­rism in both Pa­na­ma and Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca. From his cu­rrent post in Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Tou­rism Cham­ber Fe­de­ra­tion (FEDECATUR), he speaks with Ex­ce­len­cias about so­me re­gio­nal pro­jects co­ming ali­ve in the in­dustry.

Is your ap­point­ment as Pre­si­dent of FEDECATUR in any way re­la­ted to your longs­tan­ding po­si­tion in the in­dustry?

The FEDECATUR pre­si­dency is a post that, ac­cor­ding to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s re­gu­la­tions and in an ef­fort to gua­ran­tee equal par­ti­ci­pa­tion among the seven mem­ber Sta­tes in the re­gion, ro­ta­tes among the coun­tries on an an­nual ba­sis. This year is Pa­na­ma’s turn.

How do you as­sess the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Tra­vel Mar­ket (CATM), the Tou­rist Ser­vi­ce Qua­lity Pro­gram, the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Ru­ral Inn Net­work and the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Tou­rist En­tre­pre­neur Net­work?

Each of the­se pro­jects hin­ges on a pro­gram of ac­ti­vi­ties for both their fo­llow-up and im­ple­men­ta­tion. As to CATM, this year’s event will ta­ke pla­ce in Ni­ca­ra­gua, so FEDECATUR, th­rough the Ni­ca­ra­gua Tou­rism Cham­ber and the country’s Tou­rism Mi­nistry will be in char­ge of or­ga­ni­zing the fair and ma­king it hap­pen.

As far as the Ru­ral Inn Net­work is con­cer­ned, the first sta­ge is now com­ple­ted with the fi­nan­cial aid of the Sup­port Pro­gram for Re­gio­nal In­te­gra­tion in Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca (PAIRCA) by the hand of CEMPROMYPE. At the end of the day, we ma­na­ged to pie­ce to­get­her a pi­lot group of 50 inns all across Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca. With the on­going ma­king of the re­gio­nal di­rec­tory of ru­ral inns we’re buil­ding on that fo­llow-up sup­port with the Spa­nish Coo­pe­ra­tion Agency, the French Coo­pe­ra­tion Agency, the UNWTO’S Sus­tai­na­ble Tou­rism Pro­gram for the Era­di­ca­tion of Po­verty, and ot­hers.

At the same ti­me, the lo­cal tou­rism cham­bers are in­ser­ting so­me of tho­se re­gio­nal pro­grams in their agen­das, li­ke the Tou­rist Ser­vi­ce Qua­lity Pro­gram, which is, as we speak, in a pro­cess of get­ting the tea­ching for­ce ready th­rough a post­gra­dua­tion cour­se at the Car­los III Uni­ver­sity in Ma­drid. This cour­se is due over in Ju­ne, so tho­se edu­ca­tors and trai­ners will la­ter on help bu­si­ness­peo­ple who own mi­cro, small and mid­si­ze tra­vel com­pa­nies to im­ple­ment their own qua­lity pro­grams.

Wit­hin the fra­me­work of the Cham­ber Strengt­he­ning Plan and FEDECATUR, what ac­tions ha­ve been ta­ken in the short run?

In a first sta­ge, we’re wor­king in outli­ning and re­vie­wing stra­te­gic plans of each and every cham­ber, as well as FEDECATUR’S own plan as the re­gio­nal go­ver­ning body. This will allow us to re­di­rect the fun­ctions of our or­ga­ni­za­tions in li­ne with the needs and reali­ties of to­day’s glo­bal tra­vel in­dustry. Ba­sed on that stra­tegy, tho­se ac­tions will be fo­llo­wed by ot­hers, li­ke de­fi­ning the ser­vi­ce port­fo­lio the cham­bers of­fer to their mem­bers –of cour­se, de­pen­ding on an analy­sis of the ove­rall and spe­ci­fic needs they ha­ve.

How do you see CAMTUR’S po­si­tion in the fa­ce of Pa­na­ma’s new Tou­rism Act that will go in­to ef­fect co­me Au­gust?

The Pa­na­ma Tou­rism Cham­ber has pla­yed a ma­jor ro­le in the re­cent pas­sa­ge of the new Tou­rism Act and is ha­ving a hands-on en­ga­ge­ment in the gui­de­li­nes for that new le­gis­la­tion. A ma­jor step has been ta­ken fo­llo­wing the tap­ping of four key mem­bers and their co­rres­pon­ding subs­ti­tu­tes on the part of CAMTUR for the New Na­tio­nal Tou­rism Coun­cil. They will re­pre­sent and stand up for the in­ter­ests of Pa­na­ma­nian tou­rism’s pri­va­te sec­tor, as well as ot­her mo­di­fi­ca­tions that will no doubt be­ne­fit all dif­fe­rent sec­tors wit­hin the in­dustry.

From your po­si­tion as FEDECATUR Pre­si­dent, what new com­mit­ments will you ac­qui­re now and what do they mean to CAMTUR?

As Pre­si­dent of FEDECATUR, the most im­por­tant com­mit­ment is to con­ti­nue strengt­he­ning the in­te­gra­tion of Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca as a mul­ti-des­ti­na­tion tra­vel choi­ce, step up tou­rist arri­vals in the re­gion –es­pe­cially from Eu­ro­pe- and reap far mo­re be­ne­fits for the tou­rism pri­va­te sec­tor in Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca.

Jai­me Cam­pu­zano, pre­si­dent of the Pa­na­ma Tou­rism Cham­ber and of the Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca Tou­rism Cham­ber Fe­de­ra­tion

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