Panama’s new slant on tourism

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PANAMA’S Tourism Authority (ATP)  is taking a ew approach to its promotional  campaign and veering away from the Sand Sea Sun, and Canal approach of the past.

Taking an outsider’s  point of view  as defined by its  new agency VML, it is looking to attract tourists  seeking adventure.

“In Panama, there are a lot of hidden of gems that you must work for to experience,” says Sean Burns, executive creative director, VML. “A lot of locals haven’t seen the best parts of the country because it entails going off the beaten path.”

“We set out to create an identity that was uniquely Panama – but more than people realized it was,” says Burns. “The work is an invitation into discovering what this incredible country offers.”

The agency is promoting the campaign through broadcast channels, and print ads, pamphlets and PR. Media also includes in-flight, paid Facebook and Instagram, digital display ads, YouTube  emails and other media to direct people to

The strategy is designed to convert people into becoming Panama enthusiasts while they’re looking for flights and researching more “cliché” destinations like Cancun, or Costa Rica, says Burns. “Importantly, while people are in flight to any number of destinations via Copa Airlines they’ll be exposed to how great Panama is – which might just be enough to draw them to Panama next time.”

The Panama Tourism Authority hired  VML to get an outsider’s take on the country. The National Tourism Council (CNT) and the ATP authorized a two-year budget of $20 million to develop an international.  campaign. “We’re part of their target audience – U.S., Canada, Spain and they brought us to the table to create a unique perspective,” says Burns. “Previously, the PTA had been creating advertising based on how they see their country. We portrayed Panama in a way they never would have”. said Burns.

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