12 / Abril / 2005
More than 20 million tourists travel
Honduras during Semana Santa
Official reports show that over the Semana Santa holiday 1.9 millionHondurans visited tourists destinations throughout the country – a 22.6% increase over the same figure for 2004. The arrival of foreign tourists also increased for a total of 85,728, up 21.5% over the previous year.
The foreign visitors who chose Honduras as their destination for Easter break spent $33.1 million here, $2.8 million more than they spent in 2004. To reach this total, visitors from abroad spent an average of $70 - $80 per day.
For the third consecutive year, travellers from other Central American countries made up the greatest percentage of foreign visitors to Honduras over Holy Week. Of the forsigners arriving in Honduras during that period, 45% were from El Salvador, 19% from Guatemala, 21% from North America and 4% from Europe.
The heavy flow of Central American tourists is most likely due to customs unification measures that have been taken between neighboring countries. The Honduran government is very active in promoting Central American unification in this way. The most frequented border crossings over the holiday were El Poy, El Amatillo, Guasaule, La Fraternidad and Agua Caliente.
Over the holiday, hotel occupancy rates reached 95% in destinations like La Ceiba the Bay Islands, Copan and Tela. Southern Honduras was no exception, registering high occupancy rates as well.
Meanwhile, the nation’s Tourism Police Force had a successful week of fighting crime and giving tourists a helping hand. No crimes against local or foreign tourists were reported over the holiday. And Tourism Police attended to 45,785 requests for assistance and direction in La Ceiba, Roatan, Tela and San Pedro Sula.
Another highpoint of the Easter holiday was the arrival of cruise ships to Honduras. Roatan welcomed 12,253 cruis visitors travelling aboard six ships, while Puerto Cortes welcomes one ship with 1,294 passengers.
The Honduran Institute of Tourism, through its Sustainable Coastal Tourism Project, which is financed by the World Bank, carried out a litter clean-up campaign along the country’s Caribbean beaches. The project was called “A Clean onduran Caribbean.”
The clean-up took place in six North Coast municipalities: Omoa, Tela, La Ceiba, Utila, Trujillo and Guanaja. It included 149 public signs, parking areas, beaches and 490 trash bins. In addition, 5,500 posters and 5,500 bumper stickers were distributed to promote the event and encourage a litter-free Honduras.
Meanwhile, three recycling centers were set up in Cuyamel, Tornabe and Sambo Creek. From these, 149 lbs of plastic and 11 lbs of aluminum were collected and given to small-scale recycling companies operating with funding from the Prosperity Fund (a Sustainable Coastal Tourism project)
Both in terms of tourist flow and economic impact, the 2005 Semana Santa was a complete success, due largely to the commitment of municipal authorities, the private sector and civil society, as well as the Honduran government, making tourism “everybody’s business.”