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News
september 22, 2010
Multi-million tourism project investment in former U.S. military base planned in Panama

Panama, 21 sep (EFE) .- The Spanish consultancy C4T has presented today to the Government of Panama a tourist development project in a former U.S. base in the north of the country, which will entail an estimated investment of 180 million dollars and a the potential creation of nearly a thousand new jobs.

C4T’s CEO, Jordi Marcè, has informed EFE that the draft presented to the Panamanian economy minister, Alberto Vallarino, covers the area of Fort Sherman, a former U.S. military base next to the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, and the old Spanish San Lorenzo castle.

"We tried to consider all the possibilities, all the potentials" in the area, said Marcè, stressing that this is a plan focused upon eco-tourism which will include the commissioning of new communications infrastructure in connection with Panama and Colon, the second city in Panamá and located in the vicinity of the project site.

Marcè has explained that "investment is circa US$ 180 million, which is supported by 14 or 15 business units having easily achievable rates return (...) of about US$ 250 to 300 million in the first five years.

He added that the project is to create jobs for 450 people in the hospitality sector, as well as in the construction industry building new infrastructures and edifications, plus over 600 indirect jobs.

The executive also revealed that the consulting firm has already contacted 50 operators and over 40 international investors, including Americans, Europeans, South Africans and Chileans, and has already submitted "letters of intent" to “initiate negotiations with the Government of Panama”.

This is a project that includes "high-end product, not considered as such by its costs and pricing but by its space and environmental and cultural concerns and sensitivity," said the C4T’s representative, a company hired in February by the Government to carry out this consulting instruction work for circa US$ 266,000 (200,000 €).

From his side, Vallarino told that there are "very interesting prospects" to develop the area, a key destination in Panama for cruiser tourism and ensuring that the project impact will be dependent on the number of new hotel rooms.

"What we have been shown presented today was very interesting, a very well executed job, which we will evaluate along other ministers and, later on, with President Ricardo Martinelli”, said the minister.

EFE 2010

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