Friday, April 2, 2010

Minutes from meeting with ATP Minister Salomon Shamah:

Minutes from meeting with ATP Minister Salomon Shamah:

Meeting Date:  March 26, 2010

In Attendance:  Mr. Salomon Shamah:  General Administrator for the Autoridad de Turismo de Panama (ATP),  Mr. Anthony Arauz, General Administrator, Las Olas, Mr. Idu Ribeiro, General Manager Hotel Ciudad de David,  Mr. Gary Mitchell, Founder Mitchell Golf Development and Las Olas Representative.

Location:  ATP Headquarters, Panama City, Panama.

11AM Meeting Started.
The Meeting was held in English, All parties present agreed to get down to business.  Mr. Idu Ribeiro, Begain the Meeting, and thanked Mr. Shamah for the agreeing to meet.  Mr. Ribeiro, introduced Mr. Arauz and Mr. Mitchell.  Mr. Ribeiro introduced the DAV Direct initiative started by Mr. Arauz.  The presentation was handed off to Mr. Arauz.

Mr. Arauz gave an overview of the DAV Direct website:,  and continued with an overview of the response to the inquiry form regarding direct flights to David, Panama's Enrique Malek Airport.  Mr. Arauz made the goals clear that there are many options, and non-stop or one-stop flights are both viable and must be looked at.  Mr. Arauz stated the results from initial survey show that demand for route is at least 3000 re-occurring seats.  Mr. Arauz stipulated that the DAV DIRECT initiative could increase response with more distribution and marketing.

Mr. Shamah responded to by stating that he is very concerned with the occupancy rates of the hotels in the interior of Panama, and that occupancy rates depend greatly on the airlift.  Mr. Shamah, continued to describe that the government was making the following steps to insure that flights with interlink code share on COPA would begin between June 2010 and December 2010.  Mr. Shamah indicated that beyond the money allocated (30 million to the David Enrique Malek Ariport DAV and over 70 Million to Tocumen PTY, the following steps are being made to make flights from PTY to DAV a reality:  1.) A departure bridge is being built at PTY for the DAV flights.  2.)  AIR PANAMA is undergoing an insurance audit to gain secure  coverage from COPA's insurance provider for the route.  3.)  COPA is informed that if AIR PANAMA does not obtain the certification, then COPA would be required to service the route PTY - DAV by DEC 2010 or risk loosing incentives.

Mr. Shamah stated that the flights would be 3 times per week on a 100 passenger jet.

Mr. Shamah, continued to state that he can help make the flights a reality, but that he can not keep them up if they are not a success.  Mr. Shamah also stated that he can help get the people to the hotels, but that is specifically the service industry's responsibility to provide the customers with good service and make them have a good experience in Panama so that they will return in the future and help market the area by word of mouth.

Mr. Shamah agreed to support the DAV DIRECT initiative, both one-stop and non-stop flights.

Meeting was closed.

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