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 Ministryâ€™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
The Ministryâ€™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 Tegucigalpaâ€™s
night sky and observatory t-shirts.