Casco Viejo, Panama, Casco Antiguo
Tourism question: If the most influential newspaper in the world recommends Panama to its 2 million readers as its number 1 destination for 2012, what photo would they use to accompany the article? The canal? The skyline? A long sandy white beach with a palm tree? A newly restored hotel in Casco Viejo, maybe with a beautiful girl in front?
The answer is none of the above. They used an old, dilapidated Casco building with street art painted on it, and the person walking in front definitely isn’t a model. Take a look at the attached picture and think about it for a second. New York Times Sunday has the most affluent readers in the world–people who travel a lot and spend a lot when they travel.
Where the New York Times goes, the rest of the US soon follows.
Why didn’t they put one of our famous towers on the front? Maybe because most Americans don’t get on planes to see towers–they open their window! How about a sandy white beach? well, while Panama has some beautiful ones, most of the Caribbean has better quality. My guess is that they didn´t put an image of the Canal because it seems like a boring photo unless you are an engineer. While a sexy girl might seem the obvious choice, I think magazines already know people don´t trust those photos. They want to see the real deal and make a real decision whether to travel or not to the suggested destination. And anyways, I`m not sure we can match what Jamaica did in the 80`s!!!
So there you go: Casco Viejo has all the right ingredients to convey what`s special about Panama: authenticity, bright colors, interesting people, history behind every stone, and some of the best restaurants and hotels of Panama City!