Indigenous areas attract ‘sustainable’ tourism

The culture, customs and traditions of the Panamanian indigenous peoples are attractions of sustainable tourism that increasingly has more followers around the world. This was stated by the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) during an activity at the Tocumen International Airport within the framework of the commemoration of World Tourism Day, which was celebrated yesterday and which for this year is focused on sustainability.

‘Sustainable tourism has helped us strengthen culture and biodiversity.’


‘Sustainable tourism is gaining momentum in the country’s indigenous communities, as a means of economic and social development,’ said the marketing director of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), Enrique Sánchez.

Tourists from the United States and Europe are those who are most attracted to Panamanian nature and indigenous traditions, agreed Sánchez and Elvin Flaco Suira, director and founder of Quera Tours Panama, one of the pioneer groups in offering cultural tourism, tourism historical, nature and adventure to visitors who come to Panama.

‘The American tourist, like the European, seeks contact with nature and learn about the idiosyncrasies of the people, which is why we focus on highlighting part of those attractions that attract them,’ he said.

For his part, Flaco, who is of the Emberá ethnic group, pointed out that the United States occupies first place in the ranking of tourist visits to the Emberá communities, although many others also arrive from countries such as France, Spain and Germany, as well as national tourists and groups of university and local school students.

But those who spend the night the most and want to live that experience with the indigenous communities are the Europeans.

‘Europeans are the ones who most want to live that experience between nature and indigenous communities. They want to see what we do in daily life and spend a night with us. That’s what tourists who come from Europe are looking for,’ said Flaco, who added that the largest number of visits from nationals occurs during the low season that runs from May to September.

Within the indigenous communities, tourists can learn about the architecture, gastronomy, crafts, culture (dance, dance and stories), the way of living and nature, depending on the region where the communities are located, which can being on the banks of rivers, lakes or in the sea, said Flaco, while serving the tourists who arrived at the Tocumen terminal area and other groups of the Guna ethnic group, delighting them with their dances.

‘Sustainable tourism has helped us strengthen and maintain our culture, as well as biodiversity. We try to work in tourism in a sustainable way, maintaining that relationship between nature and us as human beings. That has helped us educate ourselves. Through tourism there are many young people who are becoming professional in different branches of tourism to continue working,’ said Flaco.

Along the same lines, Sánchez highlighted that a fundamental factor in promoting tourism in our country is the excellent connectivity offered by the Hub of the Americas, which through its expansion and modernization seeks to enhance tourism.

The Tocumen air terminal, with 23 airlines, has established itself as a connection platform between Panama and 92 cities in 35 countries.

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