With the opening of various segments of the economy, we see incongruous that the value chain represented by the meetings industry is not included , key to the mobilization of any economy, said the Panamanian Association of Professionals in Congresses, Exhibitions and Related (APPCE ) it’s a statement.
The letter, signed by Luis Ricardo Martínez Fajardo, president of APPCE and sent to the Presidency of the Republic , Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Labor and Tourism Authority, details the efforts of the sector and its good practices, in coherence with the biosecurity measures imposed by the pandemic.
“The tourism industry in Panama , specifically that of meetings, has lost in nine months, competitiveness compared to destinations such as Costa Rica , which until recently opened its first convention center and already stands out as a destination with defined protocols and capacities, Like Colombia , which, when facing the situation strategically, stands out for its proactivity, creativity and efficiency in the management of its convention centers, with high-level exhibitions that have a great impact on the economy, ”warned Martínez Fajardo.
It clarifies that a distinction must be made between technical and business meetings managed by the union, separating them from the broad concept of public “events”, “massive and with open assistance, with the elements of capacity control, distancing, biosecurity and traceability of the participants that the professional organizers of congresses and the like are able to provide ”.
President APPCE reasons that the economic losses are visible after the impact of the pandemic.
In this sense, the meetings industry can help to boost with results: each visitor in this segment generates, on average, six times more than a recreational tourist, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The multiplier effect is 160% for every dollar invested in the meetings industry by permeating the different sectors.
Even those who are part of the meeting industry in Panama, as part of the vision of providing solutions, generated a Manual for the Implementation of biosafety and physical distancing protocols in events , in the hands of the Panama Tourism Authority and consultation public on the organization’s networks ( www.appce.org.pa ),
The www.panamabestpractices.com project is added, detailing the best global consensus practices “to put them into practice in priority destinations.” However, they still have not been able to get a response from the Minsa.
Ernesto Orillac , president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Panama (Camtur), told Capital Financiero at the time that this movement promotes, from Panama, the best practices that translate into security and trust.
Martínez Fajardo affirms that certain sectors are allowed to promote meetings, while “the commitment that we have as a destination with the meetings of associations, investors and exchange of knowledge has been postponed , as a result of the investment of our companies in promoting Panama as a destination for meetings ”.
In this sense, the union requests uniformity in policies and guarantees are offered so that the sector can support the reactivation that will translate into well-being.