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SOURCE Honduran National Chamber of Tourism - CANATURH
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- If someone tells you they've been to Paris, one of the questions you're sure to ask them is, did you visit the Eiffel Tower? And if you visit the world's other great cities, there are usually immediate associations with iconic sites there, and when it comes to countries, the associations are even more specific, so that some people think if you haven't been to that certain place, you haven't even visited the country; going to England without seeing London is unforgivable, Brazil without Rio de Janeiro, inexcusable, and to see Honduras without visiting Copan, is just a sin…
From this perspective, cruise ship companies that take millions of tourists to Roatan, one of the most splendid destinations in the Caribbean, are realizing that these tourists have the opportunity to visit Copan, prompting representatives of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to visit this fabulous archeological site, as well as the nearby city of Gracias, Lempira.
The FCCA committee that brings together all the cruise ship companies operating in the Caribbean was led by its President, Michele Paige, and representatives of the Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Lines, who were personally received by the Hon. Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of Honduras, and the highest authorities in the country's tourism industry. During their tour the distinguished visitors experienced in person what the tourists they represent will encounter, accompanied in Copan by world-famous archeologist Ricardo Agurcia, who explained to them the most sublime aspects of this fascinating city, first with a walking tour of the archeological park, then moving on to the city of Gracias, Lempira, a place that, beyond its sweeping panoramic beauty, entrances its visitors as they stroll along its cobbled streets bordered by traditional houses, with passersby who are direct descendants of the Lencas, one of the country's largest indigenous communities.
In order for the FCCA to be able to include these optional destinations, Honduras must provide the best possible options for transportation and accommodation, and it should be noted that Copan and Gracias are located in the western part of Honduras, so that the connection between Roatan, where the cruise ships stop, and these sites, is only possible by plane; therefore it is essential for both places to have adequate airport facilities. To this end, Gracias recently inaugurated a modern air terminal where it can receive planes with up to 30 passengers, and Copan is in the process of building its own with similar characteristics.
Another important element has to do with tourist safety, an issue taken up at the meeting, and for which guidelines have been drawn up.
The good news is that based on existing conditions, Norwegian Cruise Line has already announced 11 visits starting in October, and Holland America Line is planning 16 visits at the end of this year, announcements that mark the beginning of many flights between Roatan and these two new destinations.
Just imagine getting up in the morning and taking a swim in Roatan, in the world's most crystalline waters, then one hour later coming into contact with the most artistic and sublime city in Mayan civilization, or discovering a city rich in indigenous culture like Gracias; it all definitely adds up to one unforgettable day that was worth every minute.
Then when you tell your friends you had the pleasure of going to Honduras on a cruise ship, and they ask you, "Did you go to Copan?" you can tell them, "Yes I did! And it was the most wonderful experience I ever had!"
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