Honduras is becoming an increasingly popular destination for business travellers looking to take advantage of holiday schemes and time off. Already a popular place to go and unwind in the sunshine things were taken a step further this week when President Juan Orlando Hernández urged the National Congress of Honduras to approve the Tourism Incentives Act. This would help create 250,000 jobs by 2019 as part of Honduras’ 20/20 growth plan.
“Honduras is becoming a highly desirable destination for tourists,” said Hernández. “This new legislation would provide $165 million USD in tourism incentives over 18 years — an investment set to generate about a quarter billion dollars for Honduras.”
Honduran Tourism Institute Director Emilio Silvestri recently met with Hernández, National Congress Speaker Mauricio Oliva, and tourism sector representatives to discuss the legislation at the Legislative Palace in Tegucigalpa.
The act includes tax incentives for the tourism industry, financial support for land and air travel to Honduras, and funds to increase and improve lodging options in the nation over the next 10 to 15 years.
The Honduran tourism industry is poised to take off. The number of stayover visitors to the country has jumped 4 percent since 2015, and international tourism spending is on the rise. Compared to 2015, 14.7 percent more passengers arrived to the country via cruise ship last year.
Flights to Honduras from Heathrow fit in the price of £800 but the exchange rate is definitely in your favour and the hotel standard is very high as almost all of them have the benefit of Honduras’ fantastic weather so expect pools, cocktails and outdoor entertainment for as little as £120 a night.
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT
60% of Honduras people live under the poverty line, and the quarter of a million jobs that the Tourism Incentives Act would create would go a long way to help this situation. It would also give valuable resources to other important factors that are currently getting in the way of the country’s development. Such as garbage collection which in some areas is as bad as once a month and a sorting a basic level infrastructure such as sewer systems that cannot handle toilet paper- yes, toilet paper goes into the trash- and improving the water as right now tap water cannot, under any circumstances be drunk… especially if the toilet paper is going to be ending up in the trash!
The Tourism Incentives Act could be the spark needed to set the infrastructure ablaze (In a positive fashion) thanks to big corporations already getting footholds in the cities. You’ll find all the major American brands all set up in the cities, with KFCs and McDonalds just up the street from where children are running barefoot in the road. The mobile phone industries have also cottoned-on to the situation and cable television and mobile phones come easier than running water and education. While this opportunistic approach doesn’t necessary cast a good light upon these businesses, their presence does provide working opportunities to the locals and should this tourism drive do the job, things are positioned to allow fast growth.
Oliva has assured members of the national tourism industry that “Congress will not fail them.”
“We are going to proceed with the responsibility and commitment this country needs,” he said.
“Honduras has enormous growth potential,” Hernández stated. “This legislation will be a turning point for Honduran tourism.”