Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies (MPS)

Degree Program

International Management

Department

School of Graduate Studies

Abstract

The following is a study prepared so that I, Jorge Ameglio, can open a full service travel agency in Miami named Jungle Travel (Jungle) focusing on tourism to Panama. I will show here that it can be profitable, not only for investors and myself, but also for my country, Panama. I plan to demonstrate the feasibility and the need for a business such as this one.

Now, I ask, can Jungle become operational with a fair-sized initial investment of $150,000.00? Likewise, the problem that lies herein, is whether there is an economic and business viability in establishing a travel agency that specializes in travel and vacations primarily towards Panama.

The purpose of centering Jungle on Panama is partially because it is located only two and half hours away by air. Another important reason for me, a Panamanian, is that by encouraging tourism towards Panama, will not only bring foreign currency into the area, thus helping the development of underdeveloped regions, but will also improve the level of lie for its people through new jobs, diversify the use of the country's resources, and inspire economic development in order to accommodate tourism. Currently, Panama City is the only truly developed city within the country's borders leaving vast areas of prime location and substantial natural resources awaiting to be cultivated by touristic locals and foreign investments, something the Panamanian Tourism Institute (IPAT) is trying to promote.

Though Jungle will be serving as a full service agency to all destinations, its primary emphasis will be that of promoting tourism to Panama. As stated by Jon P. Goodman, director of the University of Southern California Entrepreneur Program, " Successful entrepreneurs don't have failure. They do have learning experiences.. . The first crucial sign I've learned to look for is passion.. .Successful entrepreneurs also have imagination.. .a crucial sign I look for is self-determination" (Goodman, p.29). Well, I, Jorge Ameglio, will see this first enterprise as a learning experience for future growth. I, too, have a passion to complete this project in order to benefit financially and to benefit my country. I am determined to see it through.

It seems that I am not the only one interested in developing tourism. World organizations such as the Organization of American States and the United Nations Organization work on plans and give direction so that countries in development, such as Panama, organize their tourism sector, in order to solve their economic problems. (Villa, p.3G).

The following translation is of a full page editorial published in El Panama America, a Panamanian newspaper, on the 7th of January, 1996. It states: "Panama is following this plan and is developing a strong and coherent effort, accomplished by joining both the private and government sectors in order to achieve touristic goods. Examples of these efforts are the internationally publicized activities such as The Turistic Caravans, (which are tours throughout provinces in Panama). Also, the holding of international meetings for people involved in tourism, such as the Travel Mart, both realities promoted by Panama. The construction of new hotels, such as the Riande Continental, the Hotel Marina, and the new Marriot. Another example is the effort to start tourist projects on the beaches to serve as a starting point to place Panama as a 'beach Tourist Destination' . which will help Panama become an important 'Tourist Destination"' (Villa, p.3G).

With the inspiration of the Panamanian government and that brought forth through my desire to help my country, I can partially arrive at my goal. Both these incentives will be stepping stones to complete the hard but accomplishable objective. Nevertheless, nothing, not even a flower will bloom with desire. It takes effort, determination, and resistance, along with finds, personality, and devotion, to accomplish a successful self owned business. That is what this project is about. Its about Jungle Travel.

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