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January 29/ 2003
- Press Releases
Government joins hands with university to promote cultural-scientific tourism

The Tourism Ministry and the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) have signed an agreement to jointly create, promote and provide incentives for activities open to the public at the Central American Astronomic Observatory of Suyapa.

The agreement, signed by Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu and UNAH Vice-Rector Antonio Raul Santos, is part of a series of projects the two institutions have been carrying out jointly.

This latest initiative began seven years ago when the I Astronomy Conference for Latin America and Spain was held in Honduras. There, participants launched the idea of setting up a high powered telescope at the observatory in Tegucigalpa - the first of its kind between Panama and the Yucatan Peninsula. The Honduran Tourism Institute ahs provided key logistical support along the way.

With the telescope now in full operation, more than 4,000 visitors have come to the Observatory in the last two years. Numerous others have expressed their interest in visiting the project. The Tourism Ministry and the UNAH are now launching joint projects to take better advantage of this growing demand. The project is a perfect fit with the Tourism Ministry’s ongoing search for new and innovative tourist attractions, especially those that lengthen the average stay and spending of visitors. The Observatory is also an excellent option in the growing demand for educational experiences and nighttime activities.

The Ministry’s Department of New Products and Eco-Tourism will provide Observatory staff with assistance and training in how to best serve the needs of a growing flow of tourists. They will also provide the facility with an on-site shop whose merchandise will include astro-souvenirs, maps of Tegucigalpa’s night sky and observatory t-shirts.


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