Welcome to the Panama Weekly News Roundup! Here’s the latest.
Panama Canal Welcomes First Cruise Ship Transit of 2019-2020 Season.
The Island Princess has opened the Panama Canal’s 2019-2020 cruise season.
The Canal will facilitate approximately 258 transits over the next few months, including a record-breaking number by Neopanamax vessels. This will be about a 10 percent increase on the previous season.
Princess Cruises’ Island Princess, which transited northbound on Thursday, originated from Vancouver and will continue on a 21-day journey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She will be followed by other ships from major cruise lines over the course of the year, including Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Smaller cruise ships, including Windstar’s Star Pride and Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Quest, are also expected to cross the Canal.
Source: The Maritime Executive
Five Takeaways: Availability of English Speakers in Panama
Panama has come a long way economically. The Central American country of little over four million has seen its economy grow at a rate of average annual rate of 5.6% over the last five years – making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Companies will pay considerably more for English speakers in Panama so it is being pushed as a key skill like never before. With multinationals being told the country is a great spot to be, they are eying up the country and its fast-growing economy.
The country’s government is targeting four priority vocations as being vital for the country’s growth: finance and banking services, hotels and tourism, construction, and information technology workers. And in order to recruit accordingly for these roles, the country’s government knows there needs to be a talent pool that includes English-speakers.
Source: Nearshore Americas
This Private Island Oasis in Panama Raises the Bar on Sustainable Design Retreats.
Isla Palenque, a small private island resort off of Panama, emphasizes sustainability as the ultimate luxury.
At most luxury resorts, a mini-civilization is created under the guise of “vacation,” missing the purpose of what travelers come for in the first place: an escape. Modern comforts are in abundance from the TVs, high-speed internet, air-conditioning units on full blast, food imported from other countries, and furniture and decor sourced to emulate an elevated version of your home. There’s a disconnect between the traveler and the destination, and with so much uniformity, getting away doesn’t really feel like it.
Source: Architectural Digest
Explore the San Blas Islands of Panama!
Caribbean islands have always been the places of magic in the hearts and imagination of traveler, or would-be travelers all over the world. For Panama, the Caribbean is also something special, as it hosts half of the country’s coastline, and has a large variety of cultural heritage and historic influence.
Amongst the most sought after places to visit on the Caribbean side of Panama are the San Blas Islands (or Guna Yala in their native name). San Blas is an archipelago that has around 400 small islands that hug the eastern Caribbean coast of Panama, all the way to the Colombian border. San Blas is protected indigenous territory and is populated nearly exclusively by the Kuna tribe.
Although it’s semi-autonomous indigenous territory, San Blas has opened up to some incredible (and culturally conscious) tourist opportunities. It’s a place to go if you want to be off the grid, in crystal blue waters, and with a culture and customs as rich and fascinating as any in the hemisphere.
Source: POLS Blog