ATP to support tourism development in Santa Catalina
The project includes a center with information for the visitor on the tourist offer of the area
After meeting with businesspeople, residents and representatives of the Santa Catalina Chamber of Tourism, the administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), Gustavo Him, pledged to support tourism development in the province of Veraguas.
With the Tourism Chamber, Him agreed to build a cycle path that will have an extension of one and a half kilometers, from the community of Santa Catalina to the beach El Estero, one of the most frequented by domestic and foreign tourists.
The project includes the construction of a center to provide information on the area’s tourist offer, its history and the importance of protecting marine species.
Jessica Dávalos, vice president of the Santa Catalina Chamber of Tourism, said that the construction of this work, besides being a tourist attraction, will facilitate the connection with coastal communities and at the same time will reactivate its economy.
“It is a friendly project, as the conventional route has become a danger for tourists and residents, because of the speed at which vehicles travel,” said Dávalos.
To start the project, the ATP will provide the economic resource and the Chamber of Tourism will be responsible for the construction and maintenance of the work, said the administrator Him.
“These are infrastructure that will revive the economy of the area and give the tourist the image that Santa Catalina is a developing community,” said Jon Hanna, a Panamanian businessman and member of the Chamber of Tourism.
Hanna, who donated eleven hectares for the construction of the cycle path, added that Santa Catalina has the potential to become a sustainable ecological destination and that with the support of the ATP that goal will be achieved in a short time.
The businessman with seven years of experience in the customer service business, said that the tourist movement has been growing in the region. “In one of my hotels we could not raise two thousand dollars a month; Today we add five times that amount. Every year we are up 10%, that’s why the interest to improve the tourist offer, “he said.
In another meeting with members of the Cooperativa de Lanchas Mar Santa Catalina and after touring the island that bears the same name of the community, Him promised to provide the funds to build a tourist center in the town, which will house the offices Of the cooperative, dressing rooms, restrooms, a waiting room for tourists and a kiosk for the sale of food.
During the dry season, about 150 thousand tourists leave the Santa Catalina Buffer Center in about 60 boats, run by 10 tour operators and the cooperative. Most of the tourists, coming from Europe, the United States and also national, go in these boats to the islands Coiba, Cébaco and Governor, where they carry out activities of fishing and extreme sports, commented one of the residents.
The president of the Cooperativa de Lanchas Mar Santa Catalina, Lucio Espinosa, said that since 2006, when this company was founded, sought support from government authorities to build modern tourist facilities before the arrival of visitors, but it is So far this objective has been achieved.