San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Panama hosts 2011 Central America Travel Market

Central America’s southernmost destination, Panama, will play host to tourism providers from throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Oct. 19-21 at the eighth annual Central America Travel Market (CATM), considered the region’s largest and most important tourism and promotion trade show. 

The event is known for bringing together most Central American tourism providers in a single destination each year. Buyers from all over the world come to establish networks and relationships with tourism agencies from the region and around the globe. Some of the region’s most important tourism deals take place during the event. 

Organized by the Panama Tourism Authority and the Panama Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event will take place in the Figali Convention Center in Panama City. More than 150 tourism buyers from major international markets are expected to attend, with another 150 exhibitors and wholesalers showcasing Central America’s finest tourism services. Media outlets from around the world will cover the event. 

“We want to promote the region to international markets as a highly competitive and multi-destination tourism venue,” said Nilsa Sorto, executive director of CATM Panama. Sorto has much experience in the tourism industry as former director of the Federation of Central American Tourism Chambers and more recently as head of the Panama Small Hotels Association. 

The Central America Travel Market was created in 2003 during the 48th ordinary meeting of the Central American Tourism Council, a body of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The initiative was an agreement among regional governments and private institutions to boost tourism as an axis of economically and socially sustainable development in the region. 

A different Central American country hosts the event each year. In addition to the main CATM event, participants can sign up for pre-tours highlighting some of Panama’s most attractive destinations, as well as post-tours to neighboring countries. 

For more information about CATM, visit

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