This week, President Hernandez named Nicole Marrder as the new minister of tourism for Honduras. She has taken over the job from Minister Emilio Silvestri who headed the institution for the past 6 years. The news was widely expected, and the tourism entrepreneur community welcomes the new minister. Nicole Marder has been an active member of the community, having held important posts in the National Chamber of Tourism (Canaturh) as well as the Small Hotels Association of Honduras (HOPEH).
Nicole and her family are small hotel owners, and as such, are fully aware of the trials and tribulations that tourism entrepreneurs suffer in Honduras. We all have faith that now that Honduras has a new Minister of tourism, there will be more coordination between private and public sectors to ensure that tourism once again takes its position as a major economic force in Honduras. Honduras needs to fight for a bigger budget to promote Honduras. We also need to focus on the areas that will more rapidly attract tourists to Honduras. These of course are the Bay Islands, Copan Ruinas and Atlantida. Last year, Honduras spent only 2.4 million dollars marketing the country. This is almost one quarter of what Nicaragua spends every year!
San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa have established themselves as important centers for meetings and conventions. This is an important economic activity that must continue. Perhaps one of the biggest factors limiting the growth of tourism to Honduras are the high airfares. There is not nearly enough competition on the regular routes to Honduras. This means that airlines can charge what they want and get away with it!
Honduras has New Minister of Tourism and She has the Full Support of the Travel Industry
We need more airlines, more competition and better connections in and out of the country. With four international airports in Honduras, we are the only Central American country with four entry gateways. We need to take advantage of this. We also need to put the CA4 treaty back into full operation, allowing all flights from the CA4 countries, (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua) to be considered domestic flights. This would open up the runways in Copan Ruinas, Utila and Guanaja to receive regular flights nonstop from the above-mentioned countries.
We congratulate President Hernandez on his appointment of Nicole Marrder as Minister of Tourism. We also commit our full-fledged support with the new Minister of Tourism and the Honduras Institute of Tourism. Yes, Honduras has a new minister of Tourism and we are all exited about it!