Panama started to actively promote itself in Europe in 2017, developing an extensive trade and PR strategy to raise awareness of its leisure and MICE offerings. Because no major initiatives had previously been undertaken in Europe, promotional activities also needed to showcase Panama as much as possible to help travellers and industry members discover new features, locations and attractions.
Lead by Interface Tourism Spain
We concentrated our efforts on the primary markets of Spain and Germany and the secondary markets of France and the U.K. The Spanish team coordinated several trade and PR campaigns in these markets. Trade fairs were used as promotional opportunities for either MICE or leisure offerings. The team started at IBTM Frankfurt (MICE) and continued to MICE Boat Frankfurt (MICE), Top Resa Paris (leisure), WTM London (leisure), IBTM Barcelona (MICE) and FITUR 2018 (leisure). Messages were focused on adventure opportunities, with the contents tailored depending on the purpose of each fair; for example, the Paris visit included a MICE sales mission, even though the focus of the fair was on leisure travel. The key drivers that influence travellers to choose a destination varied in each market, so the messaging was customized further to reflect that indigenous cultures and nature were important in Spain and the U.K. and that thriving cities and varied travel options were important for MICE travellers. New flights, hotel infrastructure, tour operation and media were emphasized to travel industry members to further sell Panama as destination.
The team held close to 200 meetings, leading to 15% more product for travellers across Europe and the launch of a new direct flight from Madrid by Air Europa.
Two large-scale co-op tour operation campaigns were launched in Spain with Amadeus and Nautalia.
Organization of six familiarization trips – two from Spain and four from Germany – focused on both the MICE and leisure segments.
Four press trips each from Spain and Germany were coordinated, including one with the most popular travel influencer in Spain, Paco Nadal. The team secured more than 250 news pieces and features in Germany and Spain, worth more than €850,000.