The event also hosted the signing of a Code of Conduct for the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the tourism sector.
In late September, the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras (CANATURH) presented the 2005 Copan Awards, in recognition of excellence in innovation, creativity, investment and promotion by individuals and companies in the tourism sector. Present at the ceremony were Honduran President Ricardo Maduro and Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu.
The awards were presented as part of International Tourism Day, which is celebrated on September 27 each year. Winner of the company prize for the greatest contribution to tourism was the Villas Telamar hotel complex. Singer Guillermo Anderson took home the award in then individual category. The other nominees in the company category were Hotel Quinta Real of La Ceiba, Hotel Sherwood of Tela and Hacienda San Judas in Copan Ruinas. In the individual category the other nominees were “Memo” of Cabaña Los Pinos in La Esperanza, Anastasio Anastasius of Villas Telamar, and a private U.S. investor and owner of a resort on the island of Utila.
CANATURHA President Ricardo Martinez presented an honorary award to President Maduro and Tourism Minister Pierrefeu for the dedication and support they have offered the tourism industry since Maduro’s first day in office nearly four years. It is this support that has allowed the Honduran tourism industry to enjoy tangible and constant growth, making it the country’s third largest source of foreign revenue.
The Copan National Tourism Award is granted to local and foreign individuals and companies working in one way or another for the sustainable growth of the Honduran tourism industry and serving as role models in the management, use and conservation of the country’s tourism resources.
The jury, which has the difficult task of choosing each year’s winners, is made up of six members of the National Tourism Council, of which three are CONATURH members from the private sector.
Both the evaluation and scoring of each of the finalists is carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Once calculated, the results are delivered in a sealed envelope to President Maduro.
The award itself is a bronze sculpture inspired by the pre-Hispanic masterpiece known in the Mayan World as Excentricos, which represents the intermingling of natural and supernatural powers possessed by the Mayan rulers.
The ceremony was also host to the signing of a Code of Conduct aimed at preventing the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents within the tourism sector, an initiative launched through CANATURH by First Lady Aguas Ocaña, President of the Honduran Institute for Families and Children.