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Panama on the radar as a leading Central American holiday destination

Panama has been best known for the famous Panama Canal but in recent years its tourism industry has been blossoming rivaling that of Costa Rica. With the Panamanian government set to invest heavily in the country's tourism infrastructure, Panama is on its way to becoming one of the top holiday destinations in Central America.

Panama on the radar as a leading Central American holiday destination

Panama has long been synonymous with its Canal, however, in recent times tourism experts have been sitting up and taking notice of everything else this Central American destination has to offer. Recently listed by The Telegraph as one of the top 20 destinations to invest in property and dubbed the “next Riviera Maya” in a recent Yahoo travel news article, Panama is certainly an up-and-coming holiday destination.

Thanks to the Panama Canal, Panama is well established as a key corporate hub in Latin America acting as the regional home to many blue chip firms including, Philips, Isuzu Motors and Ericsson. Now Panama is giving Costa Rica a run for its money on the tourism side of things with a recorded 1.68 million travellers going on holidays to Panama during the first nine months of 2013; a figure which was not far behind Costa Rica’s 1.85 million holidaymakers in the same period.

Yahoo Travel’s Kelsey Keith, recently did an in-depth revision of Panama’s tourism profile highlighting some of the best experiences for travellers interested in planning holidays to Panama. Among the key destinations listed in the Yahoo article were, the Danilo Jazz Club at the American Trade Hotel, the Biomuseo (a museum of biodiversity) and the UNESCO World Heritage site, Casco Viejo which, Ms. Keith describes as Havana meets New Orleans.

Of course, the Panama Canal is also listed a must-see but it is clear that Panama is far more than just a canal, a point which the country's government officials, such as Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Jose Pacheco, are keen to highlight to the world,

"Remember, we aren't just a canal. It is only one of our engines for economic growth. Banking, tourism, regional headquarters for multinationals and mining have propelled Panama to growth and income levels unimaginable even a decade ago."

With Panama set to invest approximately $35 billion over the coming years in transportation, tourism, energy, water treatment and health infrastructure, this Central American destination’s tourism growth is only set to continue and perhaps even outpace that of its regional peers.

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