Prather in Panama for Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Summit - NTA Courier
Search
Close this search box.

Prather in Panama for Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Summit

By Bob Rouse
June 12, 2024
Catherine enjoys bird watching in El Valle wearing a new sombrero Pintao, lovingly made by local craftsman. (Photo by Greg Takehara)

NTA President Catherine Prather was among 50 tourism professionals, tour operators, and travel journalists who experienced the Tourism Cares Global Meaningful Travel Summit in Panama, June 1–6. 

“You leave these events feeling enriched, exhausted, fulfilled with new knowledge, intrigued with many more questions, and committed to being a better person,” Prather says. “You also leave with deepened relationships and many new connections.” 

Tourism Cares is the official nonprofit of NTA, and the organization’s Meaningful Travel Summit program connects travel industry leaders with local changemakers around the globe. The summits focus on educating participants about global topics such as climate change, sustainability, and equity and inclusion, providing attendees with tools and resources so they can apply what they learn to their businesses.

Tourism Cares and Panama teams: Tourism Cares on-site team + Panama hosts and partners, including Visit Panama and Ancon Expeditions.

The group in Panama met with Minister of Tourism Denise Guillén Zúñiga and Visit Panama CEO Fernando Fondevila, and throughout the event, attendees participated in sessions on community-based tourism and nature-positive tourism led by speakers from indigenous communities, local tour operators, and Panamanian organizational leaders. 

Local artisans demonstrate the making of the sombrero Pintao. The group learned about the plant fibers, natural dyes, and long process to weave each hat, some taking 25 days to make.

The visitors also engaged in cultural immersion experiences in Casco Antiguo, the historic district of Panama City; El Valle; and La Pintada, where they learned about the authentic sombrero Pintao, the Panamanian farmer’s hat. 

All of the educational and experiential activities enabled participants to better understand Tourism Cares’ drive toward community-led tourism, conservation, and meaningful travel that helps protect a destination’s natural, cultural, and agricultural resources.

Click here to learn more about Tourism Cares, NTA’s official nonprofit. The organization’s next event is the North American Meaningful Travel Summit, Sept. 30–Oct. 2, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Photos by Catherine Prather unless otherwise noted

Elsewhere

June 12, 2024

NTA President Catherine Prather was among 50 tourism professionals, tour operators, and travel journalists who experienced the Tourism Cares Global Meaningful Travel Summit in Panama, ...

June 1, 2024

Are you ready to supercharge your next group tour? If you’re nodding in agreement, then Huntsville, Alabama, is the place to be!  Not only is ...

June 1, 2024

Southern Nevada is known for being home to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, with its glowing lights and glamorous resorts. However, unexpected excitement and adventure ...