There will be more rooms to fill in
Honduras. Ricardo Martinez, the country's minister of tourism, said
the country plans to significantly increase its number of hotel
rooms in the next five years as part of a larger plan to increase
currently has 908 hotels totaling 20,000 rooms, according to
Martinez. By 2011, the country plans to add between 8,000 and
Some of those new
rooms will be built in a 16,000-acre region along the Tela-La Ceiba
corridor on Honduras' north shore.
fits in perfectly with current demand," said Martinez. "We call it
'eco-beach' because it has beaches next to national
About $22 million
is being invested privately in the corridor to construct two
resorts; the first is expected to open within two years, according
meanwhile, is spending about $15 million to improve Tela's
infrastructure, including roads, electrical power and water
Construction is a
common sight on Roatan, the lush Honduran island that
draws travelers looking for natural beauty and a relaxed,
Caribbean-style vacation. About 400 rooms are under construction on
the island, according to Martinez.
that hotels on Roatan will remain small. The largest hotel on the
island is the 110-room Henry Morgan, but most properties have fewer
than 50 rooms.
mainland Honduras and Roatan has become a bit more comfortable,
thanks to the introduction of the Galaxy Wave ferry, which began
linking La Ceiba with Roatan in August.
ferry, which makes the trip in about an hour, has LCD flat-screen
TVs and two classes of service. The ferry serves a brand-new
terminal in Roatan, which replaces the former facility in Coxen
visiting Roatan via cruise ships will arrive at an expanded cruise
port in 2008, which will enable them to come ashore without using
Copan, the site
of ancient Mayan ruins, is one of the Honduras' best-known tourist
attractions, but it is currently reached via a rather lengthy road
trip from San Pedro Sula. That could change if plans for a new
airport in Copan come to fruition. The
government has earmarked funds for a commercial airfield, but the
project is awaiting UNESCO approval, due to its proximity to the
"We think [the
new airport] will change Copan's life, like it did in Roatan,"
Martinez said. "Before we built the airport in Roatan, people
stayed for much shorter [time periods]. Visitors to Copan now stay
only one to two nights."
To contact reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].