The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) have launched the Innovative Community Tourism Experiences Competition to promote innovation by involving tour operators and community tourism providers.
The Competition is presented as a springboard for innovative tourism experiences that promote the conservation and regeneration of Panama's natural and cultural heritage by empowering local people.
It is divided into 5 categories, reflecting the five Heritage Routes of Panama as established in the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2020-2025:
- A Gateway to the World
- Crucible of Cultures
- Vital Forests
- Birds in Paradise
- Ocean Wonders
The winner will receive a $25,000 infrastructure prize for the community where the winning experience originated, as well as a trip to present the experience at the 2023 Adventure Travel World Summit in Japan.
Also, the 5 finalist experiences will get training from the UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, entry into the UNWTO Innovation Network, with global visibility on UNWTO's social networking channels, seed money of US$ 2,000 each for the communities and participation in Adventure Next Latin America 2023 to market their experiences.
During the pandemic, technology and a greater sense of responsibility have created a need to design new transformative products that are more inclusive and sustainable. With this competition, we are contributing to efforts in this direction.
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General
Our Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism states that, to truly achieve sustainability, local communities must be at the heart of the tourism phenomenon. We appreciate UNWTO's support in transforming the sector.
Iván Eskildsen, Panamanian Minister of Tourism
Through the launch of this competition, Panama hopes to return to its pre-pandemic visitor levels, but more importantly to transform the country through tourism, improving the quality of life of local people while ensuring the conservation and regeneration of its natural and cultural assets.