Panamanian tourism is barely beginning the recovery process after the crisis caused by the mobility restrictions implemented during the pandemic but the problematic disembarkation on Saturday, December 3, during the first day of operations of the "home port" at the Amador cruise terminal, has revealed the deficiencies of the operation has led to criticism that the country’s image could be damaged and made less competitive than other destinations are struggling to attract more international travelers.
The Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede) and the Chamber of Tourism of Panama (Camtur) have criticized the lack of organization during the disembarkation and boarding of nearly 3,000 passengers, of which 1,800 had arrived by air in the country to board the Norwegian Jewel cruise.
The lack of an area within the cruise port for the check-in and check-out of cruise passengers caused the process to take more than 7 hours.
"If the operations in the ports are not managed efficiently, under world quality criteria and standards, the permanence of these operations in our country is put at risk, wasting the important investments made," warned the Aped.
Camtur indicate that Panamanian tourism is barely beginning the recovery process after the pandemic crisis. They highlight that events such as those that occurred last Saturday not only affect the country's image but also make it less competitive.
On Tuesday the administrator of the Tourism Authority of Panama, Iván Eskildsen, indicated that actions will be taken to resolve the failures that affected passenger registration at the Amador terminal.
Camtur criticized the fact that tourism companies are limited to contracting supply services with a single provider since this limits competition and the image of the country.
The union makes references to the complaints from the cruise companies that indicate that they are forced to contract the supply of fuel with a single supplier when they arrive in the province of Colón.
The Association of Panamanian Shipowners (Arpa) asked the Panama Maritime Authority to end monopolistic practices within Panamanian ports by being responsible for approving the licenses of companies that provide auxiliary services within Panamanian ports. Arpa warns that these practices "sink the country to depths" that affect its image.