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With Panama tourism you do not worry about hurricanes. Living in Panama City you might feel a earthquake tremor every decade or so. Living in Panama City the last tornado was 17 years ago, until yesterday. A tornado appears to have touched down briefly on the Eastern outskirts of Panama City yesterday during an unusual rain and wind storm.
Rain almost always comes straight down in Panama. Lots of it comes straight down. Panama City gets six feet of rain a year on the average. When a little wind comes with the rain and blows off a roof or knocks down a tree it is big news in Panama.
And, yes, Panama gets tornados, rarely. The last one before yesterday was in 1992. Storm damage in heavy storms or with yesterday’s tornado takes off roofs which are the weakest part of house consruction. The cement block construction of virtually all homes in Panama is relatively impervious to strong winds and even tornadoes.
So, this is not Kansas. With tourism in Panama you do not scan the horizon for churning clouds at 40,000 feet and tornado chasing is not a sport. Living in Panama you take a nap in your hammock, walk on the beach, and, every 17 years, go inside when the wind starts to blow and stay away from the windows for the next five minutes until things blow over and you can return to your hammock.
Panama Tourism Stimulus Package 2009
July 23rd, 2009
Panama’s tourism authority has announced a plan to stimulate tourism in Panama.
With the worldwide recession reducing visits in May 2009 18 percent from May 2008 the government is placing ads internationally and promoting a 25 percent reduction in hotel, car rental, airline, and restaurant rates. Service providers will be encouraged to sign up and areas with lower than average traffic will be targeted.
A combination of concerns about the new flu and the global recession, have reduced visitors to Panama. Hotels are nearly full but there is no longer the long wait for reservations that we saw last year. The tourism authority will be targeting areas most affected in an effort to beef up traffic in these areas.
Panama tourism is a major business and competes with construction, the insurance business, banking, and the Panama Canal as a major revenue producer. With a beautiful country to show off and first world infrastructure Panama should be able to attract more travel to this Central American paradise with a few discounts.
Panama Metro and Tram
July 20th, 2009
The Panama Metro system, which will break ground within the year, will likely include a tram that connects the Cinta Costera green strip along the Bay of Panama with the Amador Causeway. Included in stops along the way will be connections to Plaza Cinca de Mayo and Casco Viejo. The new tram system will help tourism in Panama by making popular destinations more accessible to visitors.
Panama tourism will get a boost when Panama develops its metro system. Visitors will be able to just stay on the tram line to see popular tourist destinations. This sort of development will also further stimulate the renaissance in Casco Viejo.
The new Metro Executive Secretary states that the first spade will go in the ground on the metro project within the year. This project will be huge and will eventually solve a most of Panama’s public transportation dilemma which has been worsened by rapid growth. The addition of the tram connection will be welcome as this sort of open air tram connection is popular with tourists from Cartagena to San Francisco and a draw all by itself.
White Water Rafting Panama
May 28th, 2009
White Water Rafting is not something that one usually associates with Panama travel or living in Panama. However, there are several rivers in Panama, especially in Chirqui Province, that have rapids as high as class 4 during the rainy season, which is now.
If you travel to Panama from May to December you can sign up with one of the outfitters around Boquete and raft the Old Chiriqui River, Rio Chiriqui Viejo and experience class 4 excitement. If you would rather float down a more tame river that can be arranged too by picking a different river or putting in beneath the most treacherous parts of the river.
For the adventuresome Boquete also has outfitters who offer horseback rides in the mountains or even back down hill to a Pacific Island.
If you are the adventuresome sort who is looking for real estate in Panama Boquete or Volcan are great choices. People travel from all parts of the world to go birding around Boquete. You can have this patch of pristine nature just outside your front door.
If a little adventure real estate in Panama appeals to you contact us at ABPanama for a free real estate tour.
Panama's Economy Grows Three Percent
May 25th, 2009
In the first trimester of 2009 Panama’s gross domestic product grew 3 percent. Despite a drop from the 9.2 percet growth rate of 2008 and 11.5 percent growth rate of 2007 this is spectacular news considering that almost all other world economies have shrunk in the last year.
However, living in Panama it has been apparent that, although the torid pace of growth of the last few years has slowed, that things have not come to a standstill. We see in the reports of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and there as been a drop of about three percent in transits and that perhaps a drop of five percent is expected in the later half of 2009. ACP also notes that they expect to see shipping recover in 2010 and 2011.
We have been talking about Panama tourism, Panama travel in general, and real estate propects in Panama during this lull in activity. In general, it seems that all sectors have slowed but not come to a stop. We have reported the substantial drop in farm exports, however, these crops are being sold locally and not spoiling. To the extent that more food is available locally it helps keep the cost of food down.
For those with cash this is still the time to look seriously at real estate in Panama before the recovery drives prices again.
Easier to Find a Hotel Room in Panama City
April 25th, 2009
According to Panama’s hotel association the first drop in occupancy in recent memory happened this spring. There has been downturn of between 6 and 10 percent according to pubished figures.
For visitors this is good news as rooms downtown are easier to find. For the tourism and hotel industries the worry is that there may be more to come. Apparently much of the decline is in visitors from Europe as well as Venezuela.
The real estate sector in Panama is in a “pause mode” as we have often stated. However, there are still buyers and a price correction is often a healthy thing after years of boom times.
Expect to see tourism, hotel occupancy, and real estate purchases in Panama resume their climb by the end of the year.