Journey Latin America has denied claims that it has built a Panamanian tour focusing on the lost years of back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin.

The story which made the national media branded the operator “stupid” for trying to create a tour around the exploits of Darwin and his wife who planned to move to Panama after Mr Darwin faked his own death in a canoe accident in 2002.

The couple were jailed for more than six years each last month.

Journey Latin America marketing manager Jenny Powles said the operator’s Panamanian programme has benefited from the destination’s increased publicity with enquiries up by 200% last month alone.

She admitted the operator had used the increased attention to publicise its holidays, but said no new programmes have been created to cash in on the couple’s notoriety.