Panama Sets Sights on Adventure Tourism

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ADVENTURE is the current buzzword in Panama tourism circles with ambitious plans underway to create and develop an adventure tourism program that will be highlighted in an “Adventure  Week” for invited travel specialists in late May.

The event, is the result of an alliance between the  Tourism Authority (ATP), the Panama Chamber of Tourism and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

It will allow 23 international guests to experience for 7 days and 8 nights, selected adventure opportunities to generate visits in the medium and long-term.

Tour operators and travel agents, media and international bloggers, will be invited to experience the trip and promote the destinations.

According to the ATTA, a trip can be qualified as adventure tourism if it involves two of three key elements: “nature, culture and physical activity, such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, rafting and other activities that require technical knowledge or specialized equipment”.

The rafting takes place by descending a river with rapids, in a pneumatic boat using an oar as a rudder during the trip.

Panama, due to its geographical situation and tropical climate, has a diversity of rivers ideal for the activity. According to information from the ATP, in the province of Chiriqui, the Chiriquí Viejo, Chagres, Grande, Mamoní, Pacora, Dolega, Esti, Boquerón and Majagua rivers are ideal for the activity because they present different degrees of difficulty.

Adventure trekking consists of an outdoor walk, along paths whose level of difficulty can vary depending on the place and conditions.

Rock climbing in Boquete

Rock climbing required ascending or passing through rock walls and gullies,, steep slopes or other natural reliefs, using securing equipment. The Boquete, district  of Chiriqui, is  one of the most visited places for this type of activity

For adventure cycling, special bicycles are used in natural circuits, usually through wooded paths with different ascents and descents. Cerro Azul, the Metropolitan Park, Campana, Chame and San Carlos, are some of the places used by adventure cyclists.

The ATP  has opened a  contest to select the company that will be responsible for developing and operating the Panama Adventure Week itinerary. It must combine adventure activities, nature and culture for 15 buyers, 5 journalists, ATTA staff and 2 narrators), who will be expected to document and develop video material and photos.

Companies interested in applying will have until Friday, January 5 and the selected company will be announced on Wednesday, January 10.

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