Visas are required for tourists to Panama from the United States, but they remain cheap at $5 apiece. For comprehensive travel information, visit the Department of State's online travel guide.
According to Business Panama, the number of tourists who visited Panama between January and September 2008 was 1,110,000, up from 982,640 visitors during the same months during 2007. Both are record highs, which coming years are expected to surpass.
Business investment and even individual, tourist-oriented and foreign-owned businesses are relatively easy to set up in Panama. Coordinators of The Panama Business and Tourism Expo, scheduled for 2010 and taking place in New Jersey, hope to mainstream such opportunities.
Some foreigners living in Panama operate accommodations, including eco-camps and small hotels, while others run horseback riding or river rafting tours. According to Sylvia Peters of yourpanama.com, "The opportunities are virtually endless."
Under Panama's Law 8, tourism businesses that invest more than $50,000 USD in Panama earn benefits such as exemption from import tariffs and reduced or exempted real estate taxes.