Panama Teams Up With Smithsonian to Bolster Tourism Experiences

Camino de Cruces National Park, Panama // Photo by Mabelin Santos/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

For almost a century, via its research in Panama, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) has made the tropical rainforests of Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal Watershed the most intensively studied in the world. The Panama Canal Watershed is home to a plethora of ecotourism activities fit for adventure-seekers, culture mavens and water lovers, including kayaking, indigenous villages and boat tours on the canal. Travelers can also learn about Panama’s biodiversity and the canal’s history by visiting two Smithsonian affiliate museums: The Panama Canal Museum and the Biomuseo (worldwide, only Panama, Puerto Rico and the United States have entities affiliated to the Smithsonian).   

In its efforts to strengthen Panama’s sustainable tourism experiences and increase competitiveness as a tourist destination, the acting director of STRI, Dr. Oris Sanjur, and Panama’s minister of tourism, Ivan Eskildsen, signed a cooperation agreement where both entities will come together to support the “Tourism, Conservation and Research” (TCI) strategy which is currently being implemented by the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP).  

The agreement supports the TCI strategy and will further contribute to the development of the destination’s heritage routes, which were launched as part of Panama's “Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism.” A network of circuits that highlight the richness and diversity of Panama's natural and cultural heritage, the routes focus on three core areas: Cultural Heritage (multifaceted culture), Green Heritage (unique biodiversity) and Blue Heritage (ocean wonders).  

ATP will support the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in developing its scientific, educational and conservation activities in Panama with an emphasis on attracting travelers to its visitor centers and scientific stations. STRI will collaborate with the Tourism Authority of Panama by providing audiovisual material to promote tourism on the institution's websites, social media platforms and presentations developed by the institution.

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