Pa­na­ma's New Ama­dor

THE CULMINATION BY THE END OF 2018 OF A DAUNTING, BEAU­TI­FUL AND STA­TE-OF-THE-ART CONVENTION CEN­TER IN PA­NA­MA IS PART OF AN AMBITIOUS PRO­JECT TO BRING MICE TRA­VEL TO VARIOUS RE­GIONS OF THE COUNTRY

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Viajes / Travel -

“He­re I was born, in a tiny grain of salt that sai­led adrift”, said poet Ores­tes Nie­to of his Pa­na­ma­nian ho­me­land, the earthly por­tion that th­ree mi­llion years ago be­ca­me the na­rrow strip land that to­day brings two great oceans to­get­her: the Atlan­tic and the Pa­ci­fic.

With its 48-mi­le-long ca­nal, a ta­pestry of cul­tu­res and ho­me to the lar­gest num­ber of birds and trees th­roug­hout Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca, Pa­na­ma plans to be­co­me the ideal des­ti­na­tion for MICE (mee­tings, in­cen­ti­ves, con­fe­ren­ces and events) in La­tin Ame­ri­ca and the world. Thus, the country is see­king to jump on the band­wa­gon of this tourism ni­che in a bid to dri­ve in­no­va­tion, crea­ti­vity and coope­ra­tion, which in the sa­me breath com­bi­ne to pro­mo­te the spread of re­gio­nal cus­toms and tra­di­tions.

Pa­na­ma, which was the country hand­pic­ked by 134 com­pa­nies for their mee­tings last year, now ranks as the tenth most fa­vo­ri­te des­ti­na­tion in La­tin Ame­ri­ca, ac­cor­ding to the In­ter­na­tio­nal Con­gress and Convention As­so­cia­tion (ICCA), and holds the 57th spo­tin the in­ter­na­tio­nal ran­kings. Not sa­tis­fied yet with tho­se po­si­tions in this seg­ment, the Pa­na­ma­nians stri­ve to crea­te the ne­ces­sary in­fras­truc­tu­re in an ef­fort to ta­ke a de­ci­si­ve leap by the end of 2018.

Their trump card is the Ama­dor Convention Cen­ter, an eye-pop­ping fa­ci­lity that will be the lar­gest in the re­gion, with an en­clo­sed to­tal sur­fa­ce of 58,000 squa­re me­ters, fea­tu­ring th­ree halls for fairs and ex­hi­bi­tions, in ad­di­tion to ban­quet rooms, loun­ges for mee­tings and a par­king lot. The de­sign is craf­ted to hou­se as many as 25,000 peo­ple si­mul­ta­neo­usly.

It will de­fi­ni­tely be a ma­jes­tic fa­ci­lity boas­ting stun­ning mo­dern ar­chi­tec­tu­re to be com­ple­men­ted with the ad­di­tion of a bio-mu­seum and the en­han­ce­ment of the cau­se­way road, a chan­ce to ex­pand the only net­work of parks and bi­ke­ways, so­met­hing that fa­vors re­crea­tion and out­door to­dos. What's mo­re, the new road con­nects Ama­dor di­rectly with the coas­tal belt­way and reaches out to Naos Is­land.

To round out the charms of this me­ga­pro­ject, it in­clu­des an ex­pan­ded crui­se ter­mi­nal, new mu­seums, half a do­zen res­tau­rants in the ca­nal area, re­si­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties and an en­han­ced ma­ri­na. Ama­dor will be fit­ted out with mo­dern de­co­ra­tion and the cut­ting-ed­ge tech­no­logy for con­gres­ses and con­ven­tions, which will gi­ve the new cen­ter the chan­ce to put this na­tion on the map among the best coun­tries to de­ve­lop MICE tourism.

THE HUB OF THE AMERICAS

The jaw-drop­ping and fun­ctio­nal Ama­dor –it's sup­po­sed to be com­ple­ted by the end of this year- is al­ready fa­vo­red by ot­her im­por­tant in­fras­truc­tu­res of the Pa­na­ma­nian na­tion, which has ear­ned the nick­na­me of the Hub of the Americas. The term ex­tols the country's ro­le in tourism on the con­ti­nent, coupled with ot­her dis­tin­ctions, such as the lar­ge num­ber of flights lan­ding each

The Ama­dor will be a top-of-the-li­ne fa­ci­lity fea­tu­ring th­ree halls for fairs and ex­hi­bi­tions, as well as ban­quet halls, mee­ting rooms and a par­king lot

day at the Tu­cu­men In­ter­na­tio­nal Air­port –now ex­pan­ded with a new ter­mi­nal in a bid to hook up with ot­her des­ti­na­tions world­wi­de. Pa­na­ma is al­ready lin­ked by air with over 70 coun­tries.

The new fa­ci­lity ex­tends the ran­ge of exis­ting pos­si­bi­li­ties, sin­ce Pa­na­ma has right now mo­re than 20,000 ho­tel rooms in the ca­pi­tal, as well as lar­ge com­pounds out­fit­ted to host lar­ge-sca­le events.

The Ama­dor is part of the lo­cal aut­ho­ri­ties' plans to bring MICE tra­vel to ot­her re­gions across the country. The pro­ject con­tem­pla­tes the com­ple­tion, two years from now, of just anot­her fa­ci­lity in the Azue­ro Pe­nin­su­la, by lar­ge the wi­dest part of the country, as well as anot­her in Chi­qui­ri, which is ex­pec­ted to be Cen­tral Ame­ri­ca's first-ever green convention cen­ter, lar­ge enough to seat 2,000 de­le­ga­tes.

As La­tin-ori­gin Saint Ama­dor clim­bed on­to the al­tar to lo­ve his faith­ful, Pa­na­ma's Ama­dor now ri­se­sim­pres­si­vely to get anot­her kind of ama­do­ris­tas, tho­se who want to join in the ex­chan­ge of ideas and dis­cus­sions with com­fort and plea­su­re. A very beau­ti­ful way to tas­te the poet's grain of salt.

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