20 / Oct / 2004
Embarks on Historic Tourism Initiatives
WASHINGTON, DC (October 21, 2020) -
The President of Honduras will launch the SAVE strategy
to involve Scientists, Academics, Volunteers and Educational travelers
in the development of its tourism industry when tomorrow at the
headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) he officially
signs an agreement with two international organizations and a
President Ricardo Maduro of Honduras will enter into an agreement
with the National Geographic Society, Counterpart International
and The George Washington University to implement the SAVE Tourism
project to attract Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Educational
travelers and involve them in the diversification and strengthening
of Honduras' natural and cultural attractions. SAVE consortium
partners are developing a long-term model for increasing the credibility
of destinations, providing experiential learning opportunities,
and engaging local and international scientists, academics and
volunteers in conserving and improving unique landscapes and communities.
"The SAVE project places Honduras at the very forefront of
countries seeking to sustainably develop their tourism industry,"
said Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International. "It's
an immensely intelligent way to ensure the conservation of natural
resources while developing a huge tourism potential," he
remarked. "Going for the more sophisticated markets attracts
cosmopolitan and well-educated travelers who will appreciate the
diverse experience Honduras offers. They can appreciate its natural,
cultural and archaeological diversity,” said LeLaulu.
SAVE was inspired by the positive effect that scientific research
programs have had in sparking the growth of the tourism industry.
Such research has generated tourism in destinations including
Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, and at the Copan Ruins in Western
Honduras Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu said the word-of-mouth
promotion and enthusiasm of Copan earned media coverage and generated
public interest, which precipitated the rapid growth of its tourism
industry. The high expectations of the well-educated travelers
ensured that tourism growth was tasteful and well planned, he
added. "The alliances with reputable and credible entities,
such as the Getty Foundation and the Pigorini Museum, have been
extremely valuable to certify the quality of the destination in
the Copan region. We aim to replicate this approach to enhance
and promote other heritage sites in our country," said Minister
de Pierrefeu in Washington today.
The SAVE Program hopes to raise the profile of Honduras' natural
and cultural resources by promoting research in six major tropical
ecosystems, nine different ethnic groups (speaking nearly as many
languages), and its archaeological treasures.
Honduras and SAVE consortium partners are developing programs
and infrastructure that will facilitate the work of scientists
and academics in the rain forests, cloud forests, pine forests,
arid forests, mangroves, wetlands and coral reef ecosystems contained
in the country's diverse parks system. The program will encourage
volunteer travelers to channel their efforts toward maintaining
and preserving the region's unique ethnic communities, and transform
technical information generated by research into well-interpreted
educational travel programs.
SAVE, an initiative originated by the Honduras Institute of Tourism
(IHT) and jointly developed with The George Washington University,
is a component of a pioneering tourism strategy in the Central
American nation. SAVE consortium partners will also commit to
the Geotourism Principles developed by the National Geographic
Society at their headquarters on Friday morning.
Honduras is the first country to commit to Geotourism, which "sustains
or enhances the geographical character of a place - its
environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being
of its residents."