With its tropical climate and nearly 3,000 kilometers of unspoiled coastline stretching over two coasts—along the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south—Panama holds the geographical fortune to position itself as one of the top saltwater fishing destinations in the world. The country has already seen a surge in tourism for more than a decade, which remains one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. According to the Tourism Authority of Panama, the number of visitors coming to the country doubled from 737,102 in 2001 to more than 1.7 million in 2010 and was expected to exceed 2 million visitors in 2011, the last year for which numbers are available. More tourists travel to Panama from the United States than any other single country.
So what draws outdoor enthusiasts to Panama?
Considering Panama’s tropical location, just some of the key attractions are an abundance of sun, tropical beaches and unspoiled islands, rainforests and waters that provide a variety of eco-related activities, especially fishing. In fact, in 2011, more than 86,000 visitors fished in Panama with nearly 22,000 of them coming to the country for the express purpose of catching fish and over 64,000 of them angling as an aside to other primary activities. Panama is recognized as a world-class destination for saltwater fishermen with tuna, marlin and sailfish among the top species sought off the country’s coasts. Graced with wonderful lodges and rewarding tournaments, Panama is one of the most famed fishing destinations in the world.
Check out the report below for more information on Panama sportfishing economics.