17 / January /2005
Cruise chips bring $11.5 million to Honduras
Passengers from cruise ships docking in Roatán spent more than $11.5 million in Honduras in 2004. This record-breaking total was announced at a special ceremony held on that island where President Ricardo Maduro and Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu welcomed the one-millionth visitor to arrive in Honduras, who himself arrived aboard a Carnival Valor cruise.
According to President Maduro, 75% of the country’s cruise revenues go directly into the host community. In mathematical terms, this means an extra Lps. 2,000 in revenues for each of the island’s 45,000 inhabitants in 2004. More than 258,000 tourists visited Honduras via cruise ship last year. This figure is up 60% over 2003, whose total reached 160,000.
Maduro attributes much of the Bay Islands’ growing success in tourism to the efforts of the Tourism Ministry, the local private sector and, in particularly, the local City Hall. The President reiterated his satisfaction with the growth of Honduras’ “industry without smokestacks”, as tourism has become the country’s second largest source of foreign revenue after the maquila industry.
In 2004 tourism earned $410 million, a 19% increase over the 2003 total. The Honduran tourism sector is currently the fastest growing tourism sector in the Americas.