December 22/ 2003 - Press Releases
Industry Grows 18% in 2003
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 countryâ€™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
The industry is expected to grow at a similar rate in 204,
ensuring an equally positive panorama for the future.