Shopping destination, another tourist product from Panama

Panama is a small country, but it has a large number of tourist products, which must be positioned through a single brand.

Shops have experienced a decline in sales in recent years, due to the lack of visitors and the country’s economic situation.

Photo: Miguel Bruna
Photo: Miguel Bruna

Panama seeks to position itself as a shopping destination, taking advantage of the great offers offered by shopping centers, especially during the month of December, and attract tourists from Central America and the Caribbean, as well as those who represent higher tourist expenditures.

This product is added to that of beaches, nature, adventures, conventions, which seeks to make known through a single brand country that has been lost due to lack of promotion in recent years.

In Panama there are seasons of offers throughout the year, both for domestic and foreign buyers, such as the school season, carnivals, the Black Weekend in the month of September, Black Friday and now year-end purchases.

However, sales have been down in recent years, in shopping malls, by the economic situation that the country is going through and the lack of promotion.

One proof is that this year, unlike previous editions, the Panama Black Weekend recorded a 20% drop in sales compared to last year, when it reported the sum of $106 million.

Despite the little promotion of the activity, groups of tourists arrived from Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina.

Nadyi Duque, president of the Panamanian Association of Shopping Centers (Apacecom), indicated that Panama has all the attributes so that on any day of the year or season tourists can come and buy.

“We have a very interesting competitive advantage over the rest of the region and when tourists come to Panama, specifically to take advantage of the shopping product, they are very satisfied with promotions and offers,” he said.

In addition to Black Weekend and Black Friday, the aim is to encourage tourists to make their year-end purchases in Panama and learn about the various activities that will take place in the capital city with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Panama, such as the Christmas parade.

“Shopping tourism is an important product for Panama in specific niches such as Central America and the Caribbean and other destinations that we have identified,” said Ernesto Orillac, president-elect of the Chamber of Tourism of Panama.

December is the most eagerly awaited season this year for the trade sector. “We are very optimistic, we know that the behavior of the Panamanian is given to buy, regardless of the economic situation of the country,” said Duque.

Duque reveals that in the case of Albrook Mall, during the month of December there is a traffic of 200 thousand people per day during a weekend.

Ernesto Orillac indicates that all initiatives are positive, but stressed that the problem of Panama is to develop and define a brand that identifies us as a country that is complete, ie that identifies all the product that Panama has.

He expressed that Panama tries to look for markets that have greater tourist expenditure and that extend the stay.

He points out that the United States and Canada, where campaigns to attract tourists are focused, have links with tourism spending, as they extend their stay and travel a lot in the national territory.

“The North American visitor is the one who spends the most in Panama and the one who stays the most as well as Germans and English,” he said.

The average length of stay of a visitor is 8 days and spends on average a total of 1,176 dollars.

Author: Diana Díaz V.