The government of Panama on Friday said it was taking a tourism prize it won in China, during the Guangzhou International Travel Fair, as a sign of growing Chinese interest to discover the country.
The award was received by Panama's tourism minister, Gustavo Him, and its ambassador to China, Francisco Carlo Escobar.
Him is leading a Panamanian mission to China which started last Monday to seek to increase the country's profile among Chinese travellers, as well as to continue working on the deals signed between both sides since diplomatic relations were established in June 2017.
Nine Panamanian companies are taking part in the fair in Guangzhou while the Panama National Folkloric Dance Company performed at its inauguration.
"It is being shown that the Chinese market has an interest in discovering Panama and its folklore, history, nature, gastronomy, shopping and one of the most important engineering works in the world: the Canal," said Him.
The Panamanian ambassador to China said that the tourism links between the two countries were developing and that the opening in April of the first Air China flight from Beijing to Panama City would facilitate multi-destination tourism.
Escobar added that the status of approved destination given by China to Panama "is evidence of our deep cooperation with the Chinese people and a lasting friendship."
Escobar said that Chinese citizens with valid visas for the U.S., Australia and Canada could enter Panama. "This measure is applied by other countries in the region with the opportunity to develop multi-destination packages with tour operators," he said.