Friday, 19 May 2017

HONDURAS: Honduras Introduces Improved Air Travel For American Tourists

Direct flights to Honduras from the United States increase the connectivity of this Central American country.

The next time you think of traveling to Honduras, forget long layovers and expensive flights, but start thinking of saving time and money as Honduras announces improved air travel for North American visitors.

Spirit Airlines, the low-cost airline company has begun to offer non-stop flights from two major U.S. hubs, namely Fort Lauderdale and Houston.

Honduras is one of the few countries in Central America to have two direct flights coming from the U.S., granting one Central American country a competitive advantage for greater connectivity and accessibility in its fares. Since Spirit established air service to San Pedro Sula, the airline has transported more than 350,000 passengers.

In expanding their routes to Central America, Spirit accompanies American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Avianca, and United Airlines in offering direct non-stop service or connecting cities through Miami and Dallas (American and Avianca), Atlanta (Delta), and Houston (United & Spirit), making the Mayan archaeological site of Copan even closer.

Along with American airlines, Canadian tourist companies have sought to expand their service to Honduras through Transat Tours, a Canadian Tour-Operator. Beginning in December 2016, just in time for winter in the northern hemisphere, they will add direct flights from Quebec City to the island of Roatán, Honduras.

This new service will be in addition to their existing flights from Montreal, Quebec to Roatán and Toronto, Ontario to Roatán.

Additionally, Transat Tours and Sunwig Vacations who also offer direct flights to Honduras from major Canadian cities, sold an estimated of 15,000 packages to the country.

This expansion in the tourism sector reflects an aggressive promotional effort made by private companies to further relationships with Honduras. Over the past 24 months, Transat Tours, with the help of the Honduran government, has seen an increase of more than 15% from previous seasons.

The development of these relationships has been crucial in these companies being able to meet their mutual sales goals.

“Thanks to these new investments in the tourism sector and the diversified efforts carried out by the government and private companies, Honduras will continue positioning itself as an ideal destination for Americans and Canadians as the most diverse tourist offering in Central America,” noted Emilio Silvestri, Director of the Honduran Institute of Tourism.

From the rich history of Comayagua, to the unmatched beauty of the Bay Islands, located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, which houses the largest coral reef in the Americas, together with the rough shores of the Pacific coast, crossing over mountains, lakes, and forests, then to discover the ancestral legacy of the Mayan culture in Copan or uncovering the mysteries of an unknown civilization in Kaha Kamasa, Honduras has a natural and cultural beauty unlike anything else the world has discovered.

Another step forward in the relationship between Tegucigalpa and Taipei, as Honduras welcomes Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for her first trip to this emerging Central American country. In the beginning of January, Honduran officials laid out the red carpet for President Tsai, welcoming Taiwanese interest and investment in the country’s promising economic future.

The Taiwanese president’s stop in Honduras is a part of a larger Central American tour, where she visits El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Her decision to begin the trip in Tegucigalpa reflects the sustained importance that Honduras has in the eyes of Taiwanese leadership.

Overall, this week-long circuit seeks to strengthen diplomatic ties and cooperation between Taiwan and its Central American allies.

Following a meeting between President Tsai and President Juan Orlando Hernández held in Taipei in October, President Tsai traveled to Tegucigalpa to affirm economic, diplomatic, and commercial ties strengthened through bilateral trade agreements and major cooperation projects.

The two nations have maintained a fraternal relationship for more than 75 years and the leaders are confident that 2017 will welcome a new chapter of economic prosperity for both countries.

Over the years, Honduras has been steadily increasing their agricultural exports to China (Taiwan), as Taiwanese investors have kept an eye on the increasing economic prosperity of this Central American gem.

Following the meetings and as a part of the larger and most important economic initiative in the history of the country, Honduras 20/20, Taiwanese consumers can expect an increase in Honduran goods in their local supermarkets such as melon, beef, powdered milk, and other basic products.

Along with increased economic benefits, President Tsai’s arrival reflects a strong cultural relationship that seeks to engage Honduras’ strongest resource: its people. Over the past several years, Honduras has sent over 300 culturally curious students to Taiwan to study abroad and participate in the Taiwan Scholarship Program, providing young Hondurans with first-hand exposure to Chinese culture.

Through the initiative #JovenesHN, launched by Marca Honduras in efforts to connect and engage with Honduran youth studying abroad, the event held in Taipei hosted close to 100 students eager to learn more about their country’s brand in their home away from home.

With only a month into 2017, this year continues to look promising for the future of Honduras and through continued international support the country hopes to increase its global footprint while strengthening its internal infrastructure.

President Tsai’s visit to Honduras symbolizes further confidence in Honduras’ growing economies, which will provide both nations with increased stability, commerce, and global recognition.