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15 Jun / 2004

New project will promote tourism in rural Honduras

The newly launched Pueblo Turistico project will be promoting the tourism potential of several rural communities in north western Honduras . Created by TechnoServe, the project will feature attractions in Santa Rosa de Copán, Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Omoa, Taulabé, San Francisco de Yojoa, Trinidad , Corquín and La Esperanza - all chosen from a pool of 15 potential communities for their high tourism potential, primarily the natural attractions in and around them.

The country's north western zone was chosen as the target area for Pueblo Turistico because of its close proximity to the Mayan ruins at Copan and the Bay Islands . The participating communities will compete against one another in this competition-based project. The winner will receive assistance in implementing its plan to develop local tourism attractions in a sustainable manner. Training will also be provided to create seven Tourism Commissions consisting of local business members and other local representatives. These Commissions will be created to improve each community's commercial abilities, organize trade fairs and launch tourism projects. Twelve companies and 120 jobs will be created, with access to the Capital Raising initiatives launched by TechnoServe to increase investment.

The Pueblo Turistico project will generate a total of 36 new businesses and 360 new jobs in the winning communities during the first year, with expected revenues of $600,000. The project's target population is between 12,000 and 40,000 rural inhabitants looking to diversify their tourism base by developing their natural attractions and supporting new initiatives to increase the demand for tourism products and services. Since launching the project, TechnoServe has encouraged all of the participants to widen their vision regarding the possibilities for tourism in their communities and to implement strategies aimed at developing effective products and services.

Among the many attractions being promoted by the participating communities are caves, waterfalls, rivers, scenic outlooks, forests, parks, archaeological sites, artisans, mountains, beaches, lakes and above all local hospitality.

Tourism plays an important role in all of the countries of Central America , as it is a proven source of new jobs and increased local revenues while stimulating traditional local industries. The tourism industry is growing worldwide and offers a wealth of opportunities. Central America - with its inherent abundance of cultural and natural resources - is well positioned to benefit from this trend.

TechnoServe Honduras has launched this project as part of a strategy to develop tourism in Honduras and encourage economic growth in rural areas. Future strategies include follow-up plans to improve the competitiveness of small and mid-sized tourism businesses in rural areas.


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