‘I was born‘ hello ’, but I throw the ball ': Iván Eskildsen talks about the scandals, Uber and Airbnb, the ego struggles and how that is affecting tourism.

Arts & Culture Editorial Interviews


Why did you leave the Cubitá hotel? Was it a problem with the partners?
It was a motivated sale, because you had to make capital contributions, which is never easy.

Cubita Boutique Resort & Spa, Panama

How did you become a minister?
He recommended Cortizo's son-in-law.
Your age, strength or weakness?
He has not played against me. Help for the energy to be dedicated.
Are you going to enroll in the PRD?
It's not in my plans.
I do not close to the possibility.
What irregularities did you find?
I ordered audits and we haven't found anything irregular.
Gustavo Him did it well?
I dont know. You tell me.
He or Shamah Which did it better?
He passed.
Why aren't they quoting the Cabinets, if Him did go?
They cite me when there are tourism issues. "Reunionitis" is serious. Time serves me to work.
PRDs are looking for political spaces. Have they knocked on your door?
Of course. We are focused on hiring qualified people.
But they have thrown many technicians with years in the entity ...
We kept people good.
Are you more ‘ojue’ or ‘hello’?
I was born hello, but shot in the corner.
Who told you what coat and hat you combined?
Nobody. Excuse to talk about the country.
With what tax will they replace the one that would be taken from the casinos?
With which it would be generated attracting more tourists.

 Playing in Panama

Is it fair for casinos to save what the state must pay for the rehabilitation of the ludopaths?
The gambling is serious, but I don't think we should mix things up.
They are mixing them by incentivizing the business that generates gambling.
Yes, it is a complex issue ...
Raúl Pineda said his administration was crawling with Copa and the next day ... hug. Are they friends yet?
First, I told him to treat each other with respect, and then we had a good conversation, since deep down I think his law seeks the best for the country.
Do you agree to charge passengers in transit?
It could affect the competitiveness of the hub, but the idea is to discuss it ...
There is the ATP, the International Promotion Fund, the tourist cabinet, the National Tourism Council and the unions. Who commands here?
According to the law, the ATP, with the tourism master plan, governs the industry ... Yes, there are many. We are in the process of ordering to send the plan.
They cut the budget, including the internal campaign. Its only role, as the fund makes international promotion. What will he do?
We are processing the reconsideration. He has to work very hard on the tourist experience and destinations.
Him was criticized for sponsoring boxing and martial arts events, and videos of artists, who did not generate tourism. Will you do the same?
No. The idea is to be more selective.
The ATP maintains debts for almost $ 2 million. Who do they owe?
To very delicate suppliers such as Iberia, Lufthansa, Pullman Tours, Sunwing and Apple Vacations.
And the excuse, what was it?
There was not. We already started paying.
Hoteliers do not take with operators and left the Chamber of Tourism. What happens?
Personal and ego differences. We have to work in the unit. So we don't go anywhere.
Regulate Uber, yes or no?
I don't believe in taxing the Uber. All, taxis too, must provide good service to locals and tourists.
What change will you make to Carnival?
As it is, it does not attract tourists. I want it to stick more to tradition.

Carnival in Panama City
Cancun works like an APP. Will they develop an area like this?
The law is very fresh, but I think there are great opportunities there.
From 1 to 10, the service of hotels and restaurants.
5. It is the main complaint of the tourist.
Where are more and more hotels missing?
There is oversupply in the city. And they are missing near the tourist attractions of the interior, such as Portobelo.
That is abandoned ...
Yes, the structures, which are World Heritage Sites, fall. The social part requires a lot of support and the handling of garbage is a disaster. You drive and see horrific piles of garbage.
The occupation is stagnant at 47% and the number of tourists does not increase. How much of the fault is the ATP?
The main fault is the lack of international promotion.
And, the high price of things?
Too. You have to bring tourists who can pay those prices. The millennial tourist loves the rural. But the one who can pay wants comfort.
And scandals like Odebrecht, Panama Papers, Waked ... do they affect?
Yes. Our international image affects business tourism 100%.
So, that the State contracts with corrupt companies, yes or no?
Do not.
In that line, your message to justice.
Corruption is a cancer that kills us as a country management.
And garbage, does tourism affect?
Yes. And customer service, blackouts and destroyed streets are the things that most affect the tourist's visit.
How many tourists return to the country?
We do not know.
How do you plan to improve that data?
You have to look for ideas in other countries.
The hoteliers of the capital comment that you only focus on the interior. That responds?
I understand them and I know that we also owe to the enormous infrastructure of the city, but we must understand that the interior has been the weak side.
What is there to do in the city, besides going to the Canal, the Biomuseo and the Old Town?
Protected areas near the city, which you can't find anywhere in the world. And we are creative city of gastronomy before Unesco.

Panama Viejo, UNESCO World Heritage
Eat and go to Cerro Ancón. And, on the second day, what do I do?
The tourism law prohibits renting private homes in the city for less than 45 days and that hinders Airbnb, which offers cheaper options. Will the tourism law change or leave it that way?
We cannot turn our backs on the digital world, but we must find a consensus solution with hoteliers. I cannot promise anything, but I have heard that there is provision.
Is the ATP's job to bring tourists or protect hoteliers?
We owe them all. But the main thing comes first.
The last government removed Atlapa for free to bring conventions and insurance to the tourist. Will they correct?
The tourist insurance goes. Atlapa free, we are evaluating it as a temporary measure to bring great events.
Why does ATP not invest in bringing more low-cost airlines? Why would they compete with Copa?
We are in talks to bring Interjet and Viva.

 Panama City

What do you think is cheaper to go to Costa Rica than to Panama?
A study is being done to speak properly.
Have you sat down with Copa to ask him to lower the tickets?
Yes, but it is free supply and demand.
What does Costa Rica have that we don't have?
More than 20 continuous years focused on tourism. But we have more and better attractions.
Well, here there are no toilets to stop the tourist bus on the way inside ...
Yes, it can be improved ...
Are they going to bring the Ironman back?
We haven't seen that yet, but sports tourism has potential.
Why is there not a single brochure of the convention center, having 95% progress, if the conventions are booked years in advance?
The delay in hiring SMG is going to affect. A chiripón may fall in 2020, but we will begin to see conventions in 2021, not before.
Are you going to squeeze the Chinese or how are you going to solve the fight between Cocige, who broke, and the Chinese, who sued? Or will it wait for years until they get fixed?
They are already restructuring. We are squeezing the contractor as it is.
How long is this government going to blame the last two governments for everything?
To backward or to gain momentum. You have to think about what needs to be done now and do it.

Ivan Eskildsen, Administrator ATP