One of the main goals of this 2.5 million dollar informational campaign was to position Panama as one of the most attractive destinations for travelers in the region. Another key goal was to bring more than 17,000 new tourists to Panama between July and November 2013. The campaign sought to achieve these goals by developing a media presence and by supporting wholesalers in countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.
Over the course of the campaign, travelers from more than 20 countries were introduced to Panama’s most exotic and distinctive natural havens, as well as other tourist attractions like shopping destinations and business centers. The campaign employed a wide variety of both traditional and digital marketing channels and tools.
““Panama is possible” exceeded all of our expectations. We had initially planned to draw about 17,000 additional passengers over the course of four months, but we were able to double that number, to more than 39,000 passengers. All of this is thanks to our joint effort with the Panama Tourism Authority, which was unlike anything that Panama has been before,” said Joseph Mohan, Senior Vice President for Business and Planning at Copa Airlines.
This strategic alliance leveraged Copa Airlines’ knowledge and experience as the region’s leading airline in terms of promotions and variety of destinations. At the same time, the campaign also benefitted from the full support and experience of the Panama Tourism Authority, which provided logistical support and supplied the funding for the promotion.
“This is not the first time we have undertaken a campaign with Copa Airlines. In 2011, we launched the “Free Stop Over” (Visita Panamá Gratis) campaign, which drew more than 70,000 passengers in 2012. As a result of the new “Panama is possible” campaign, we had almost 40,000 additional passengers between July and October 2013. As we have mentioned, this is further evidence that public/private alliances are an effective strategy—in this case, for the development of Panamanian tourism,” said Salomón Shamah, the Panama Tourism Authority’s General Manager.
The various manifestations of the campaign also achieved very successful results, especially in the digital sphere. For example, the www.descubrepanamaconcopa.com microsite—which provided tourists and travelers with detailed information about the country of Panama, as well as hotel offers and the opportunity to purchase an airplane ticket on the spot—drew nearly one million visits in just four months. In addition, the campaign’s YouTube video received 1.4 million views, setting a record for Copa Airlines and becoming one of the most-viewed videos originating in Panama for all of 2013.
Thanks in part to the success of the campaign, Copa Airlines increased its number of passengers traveling to Panama by 14% during the second half of 2013, as compared to 2012. A record-setting number of people visited Panama during that six-month period, and the campaign contributed to that number, according to the Panama Tourism Authority.