Have you ever wanted to explore the place where you boarded a connecting flight en route to some other destination? Panama airline Copa Airlines has teamed with the country’s Tourism Promotion Fund (PROMTUR) and the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) to guive travelers that opportunity with the Panama Stopover.
All three entities launched this joint program to encourage Copa passengers to include an extended stop in Panama on their travel itinerary at the time they purchase their airline ticket. The stopover can last as little as 24 hours or as much as seven days. With that additional time, passengers can discover the country at no additional cost in their airfare. It will be as if they enjoyed two destinations for the price of one.
About Panama Stopover
Copa Airlines operates from Tocumen Airport in Panama City. This Hub of the Americas allows the airline to connect with each of the 80 destinations and 33 countries where it flies to every day. However, this is the first time that the airline, together with government migration entities, has made an effort to promote Panama as more than a flight stop.
The Panama Stopover can be included in the itinerary to or from any of Copa Airlines’ destinations. Tourists can purchase it at the airline’s Reservation Centers and Service Centers for ConnectMiles, their frequent flyer program. The Stopover is also available in more than 60 sales offices in the Americas. Every travel agency and wholesaler Copa works with will offer this service. Sales representatives in 24 countries in Europe, Asia and Oceania will also have the program available.
The no-cost Panama Stopover only applies when ordered at the moment of purchase of your filght ticket. The program is not available once a ticket has been purchased or when a trip has started.
A visa is required to enter Panamanian territory. However, travelers with visas from specific countries or who are citizens of nations that have active agreements with Panama can enter freely, according to the ATP. Many of the destinations connected by Copa Airlines enjoy this privilege.
Therefore, it is estimated that Panama Stopover will add more than 125 thousand visitors to the country per year. These will contribute more than 100 million dollars to the Panamanian economy each year.
Panama Stopover Advertising and Promotion
The Panama Stopover initiative is promoted through Two Destinations, One Fare, an advertising campaign running in the United States. “The projection and image of Panama in this campaign is focused on unique experiences, showing images of nature (beach and adventure), history (culture and ethnicities) and urban centers (Panama Canal, entertainment and gastronomy),” said Liriola Pitti, PROMTUR general manager. “These invite you to enjoy Panama’s various tourist attractions.”
Likewise, the program is being promoted directly with Copa Vacations travel agencies and wholesalers throughout South America. “We want to take advantage of the broad connectivity offered by our Hub of the Americas, to captivate tourism travelers in connection with the tourist attractions and cultural richness of Panama,” said Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines chief executive officer.
Copa also decorated one of its aircraft with designs alluding to Panama and its cultural wealth. Similarly, the company placed the Panama Stopover seal on airplanes in his fleet. Finally, Copa updated their flight safety video with the main tourist attractions in the country. In addition, the airlin organized a familiarization trip (Fam Trip) to Panama with PROMTUR and the ATP. Representatives of the 50 top tourism wholesalers in the United States traveled to learn first hand what Panama tourism has to offer.
Panama, from Unavoidable Stop to Must-See Destination
Panama Stopover is one of several activations and initiatives developed between Copa Airlines and tourism promotion entities in the country. These include the Panama Jazz Festival, a cultural event held at the beginning of the year. Likewise, Copa promotes the Panama Black Weekend shopping event. More than 3 thousand stores in 11 shopping centers offer great discounts on items from international brands during this special weekend.
Beautiful beaches in both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. Cities that mix the modern with the colonial. A vast diversity of options for ecological tourism. Panama deserves to be explored and enjoyed, for these reasons and many more. If you were looking for an excuse to discover the country, the Panama Stopover is your perfect opportunity.
Visit Copa Airlines’ official website for more information on the Panama Stopover.