Copa-Pullmantur agreement could generate about $16 million for Panama

A collaboration agreement between Panama’s Copa Airlines and the Spanish cruise ship company Pullmantur could generate for Panama about $16 million, by promoting a stay in the country of two days by 130,000 visitors during the season 2017-2018, according to the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP).

The ATP Deputy Minister, Jennifer Champsuir, explained at a press conference that a study was made with the Spanish cruise company to see the impact of promotional packages that will be sold through wholesalers that offer airline tickets, cruises, transfers and nights in hotels of the Panamanian capital.

Copa will offer exclusively to Pullmantur passengers wishing to embark in the Port of Colón (Caribbean), special rates to fly to Panama from fourteen airports in eight Latin American countries, such as: Bolivia (Santa Cruz), Brazil (Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro) as well as Chile (Santiago de Chile), Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil), Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey), Paraguay (Asunción), Peru (Lima) and Uruguay (Montevideo).

More people are taking cruises for their holidays.

More people are taking cruises for their holidays.

The ATP deputy minister said that the arrival of those tourists, additionally to passengers who embark in the Port of Colon, will generate income of about $16 million.

“This alliance will serve as an opportunity for visitors coming from the countries of the region through the ‘Hub of the Americas’ to increase hotel occupancy in the country before embarking on the cruise,” she said.

Pullmantur’s commercial director for Latin America, Giovanni Alarcon, said that about 50% of the passengers served by the shipping company embark at the “home port”” of Colon, which is why it favors the alliance with Copa by allowing the main tour operators to provide a package of cruises.

“Latin American markets weigh slightly more than 50% of Pullmantur’s worldwide sales operation. Panama is a destination that all Latins recognize for its nightlife, gastronomy and commerce,” he said.

He emphasized that the company currently has the ship Zenith, which sails every Friday with hundreds of passengers in the Port of Colón to enjoy the itinerary of the route “Antillas & Caribe Sur.”

The executive explained that from May 2018, Pullmantur will operate a total of 52 sailings of its routes “Antillas & Caribe Sur” and “Legendary Caribbean” with the ship Monarch, doubling the capacity of cabins and passengers embarked and in transit, who will pass by the port.

Copa Airlines wholesale manager, Karla Guillén, said that the strategic alliance with the shipping company will contribute to a better competitiveness in the tour packages offered by tour operators.

The alliance between Copa and Pullmantur will encourage more people to come to Panama.

The representative said that the airline, with a broad Latin American connection, offers passengers direct flights, adding that the offers have been launched from last May and will remain for the entire cruise season 2017 – 2018.

“We are seeking, with the alliance, to elevate Panama as a tourist destination of excellence and highly competitive,” said Guillén.

The ATP will also collaborate with Pullmantur in promoting the country through marketing actions in the Southern Cone region, such as increased exposure of the country brand in local media, movie portals, newspapers and magazines.

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