Opening in under 5 years, the country of Panama will expect to introduce around 5,000 new hotel rooms. There are copious construction sites and posters indicating that several new hotels are being developed in Panama City, Panama. The first of these new hotels opening is the Spanish chain RIU Hotel that was introduced last month (September 2010) with 35 stories and 645 rooms.
According to the research firm STR Global, Panama City won over other key markets in the region to take the top spot for the most hotel rooms in the development pipeline with 4,589 expected to be completed in the next few years. According to the STR Global Pipeline report from mid September 2010, Panama City also reported the most rooms in construction with 2,777 that will be completed in the coming years.
A recent article in Panama’s La Prensa newspaper discussed that the hotel industry is injecting around $700 million dollars into the economy this year alone. (In which) Businesses relating to tourism will benefit from the new rooms and they will enhance the economy and job market in Panama.
The high demand for high profile hotels in Panama City is because Panama needs to serve corporate customers, particularly those in town for conventions. According to the Panama Hotel Association (APATEL), Panama’s new hotels and a Panama City’s new Figali Convention Center will allow the nation to further develop its “convention tourism” niche market.
Annual conventions in Panama City are becoming larger every year with a need for more rooms for visitors to stay. According to APATEL, expos and conventions such as the annual trade show Expocomer are the tourism industry’s biggest moneymakers. Over 15,000 people visited Panama City’s Atlapa Convention Center for Expocomer in 2010, which generated $124 million in revenue.
Adding to the revenue from that convention’s business transactions was around $25 million dollars adding to tourism sales. According to the Panama Convention Bureau, more than 20 additional conventions result in another $25 million in revenue for Panama every year.
The new hotel projects recently completed or that are currently being constructed include the RIU Hotel, 2 new Hyatt-brand hotels, Hilton has confirmed that it will open 5 new hotels in Panama City by 2013, the Sheraton, Radisson, Marriot, Wyndham, Breezes, Holiday Inn, and Le Meridien.
With the increase in conventions for business and travel, the expansion of the Panama Canal, and Eco Tourism, Panama’s huge increase in hotel rooms will stimulate the economy and promote jobs for Panamanian people and business owners.