The Spanish company Pullmantur plans to close its 2018 cruise season with some 124,000 passengers, of which 49,000 will board Panama's Colón 2000 port, representatives of the shipping company reported today.
The sales corporate director of Pullmantur, Alejandro Páez, said that it is projected an increase of 8 percent compared to 2017, which averaged a flow of 115,000 passengers, of which 38,000 boarded from the Home Port of Colón ( Caribbean) in Panama.
"We have grown around 8 percent, but we could not reach the target, which was intended to embark about 59,000 passengers in Panama, but the economic environments of the Southern Cone have impacted the commercial movement of the shipping company," said the executive.
He noted that one of the main strategic axes of the company has always been the Atlantic port of Colón, where passengers arrive from Latin America (80 percent) and from the United States and Europe (20 percent).
He emphasized that in 2017 they made about 77,000 passengers that passed in transit, that is, they went to shopping centers or visited the interoceanic Canal locks, in economic terms, leaving an income of almost 20 million dollars.
Páez said that at the end of 2018 the figure is expected to be around 124,000 cruise passengers, adding that in Panama that number rose to 49,000 in local shipments, given the effort focused on Panama and Cartagena de Indias.
He said that in the South American region he invests more than 24 million in the South American region so that people show interest in embarking from the port of Panama.
He pointed out that the Monarch - his flagship - will dock every Friday next year in the port of Colón, making a total of 52 boarding operations.
The company aims to raise its numbers to 135,000 people, of that total it is estimated that 83,000 are in transit in the country. In general terms, he estimated that the economic impact of the Pullmantur Cruceros activity in Panama in 2019 will range from 21 million dollars, about 10 percent more than this season.
According to the CEO of Pullmantur Cruceros, Richard Vogel, this growth is related to an increase in capacity in the Caribbean for the next season, since they will sail without exception, "every week of the year".
"It is important to note that not only do Panamanians board, but also guests from other places, mainly from Latin America," said the leader of the shipping company.