The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is considering the possibility
of building cruise docks on the Honduran North Coast and in
the Bay Islands. This is the latest in a series of events
indicating that the cruise industry has taken notice of Honduras
and is interested in expanding its offerings to include the
countryâ€™s many attractive destinations.
According to Michael Ronan, Vice President of Development
at Royal Caribbean, the company is interesting in expanding
its cruise packages to include Honduras in response to a growing
demand among customers for stops in this country.
Increasing the numbers of cruise ships that include Honduras
as a destination is a key strategy of the Honduran Ministry
of Tourism. “The interest of Royal Caribbean is based
not only on investing in the development of port infrastructure,
“ says Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu, “
but also in making Honduras a world class destination for
Royal Caribbean is a leader in the global cruise industry
and, together with Carnival Cruises, provides 90 percent of
all cruises sailing in the Caribbean. The companyâ€™s
first destination in Honduras would be Roatan in the Bay Islands.
If successful, an additional expansion would include the Honduran
In cooperation with the Honduran Institute of Tourism, Ronan
met with private sector leaders in Roatan to discuss the importance
of a local Cruise Committee in the Bay Islands and the coordination
of efforts between the private sector and the government to
ensure the success of the industry there.
So far in 2003, cruises have brought 152,320 tourists to
Honduran shores. This number already tops the 2002 annual
total of 124,454 - a growth rate of 22.4 percent.