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
“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.