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Honduras` tourism industry grows 18% in 2003

Enjoying steady growth over the last five years, the tourism industry has become a major pole of…

Enjoying steady growth over the last five years, the tourism industry has become a major pole of development in the Honduran economy. Year-end estimates for 2003 predict an 18% increase in foreign currency revenue from tourism over the preceding year.

This translates to $403.1 million, up from the 202 total of $341.5 million. Tourism currently employs 84,940 Hondurans in direct and complementary jobs. Since 2001, a total of 57 new tourism projects have been approved and more than 60 applications for benefits under the Tourism Incentive Law have been submitted. Together, these total $13.1 million in new investments in the Honduran tourism sector.

By the end of 2003 the number of visits to Honduras grew by 20% and is expected to reach one million by the end of the Maduro administration. These tourists will spend an estimated $500 million in Honduras. This kind of growth is expected to lead to nearly 30,000 new jobs.

To encourage this growth, the Maduro administration has focused on developing competitive tourism products with high added value, and on advertising these products on both local and foreign markets. Other key elements of the strategy include training human resources, developing basic service infrastructure, strengthening security through a special tourism police force, providing environmental and quality certifications and creating a Tourism Promotion Fund to encourage local and foreign investment and provide support for micro and small businesses in the sector. All of these factors comprise the country`s long term strategy, which is in effect both locally and regionally and incorporates both the public and private sectors.

Designed to encourage long-stay vacations, the strategy has prioritized the Tela Bay project, a private investment with an estimated price tag of $140 million. Upon completion, the Tela Bay complex will serve as a hub for mainland tours, channeling visitors to key sub-poles like the Bay Islands, Copan and the Omoa-Trujillo corridor.

The industry is expected to grow at a similar rate in 204, ensuring an equally positive panorama for the future.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.