Birding Festivals in Honduras
Honduras Turismo y Marketing S.A., organizes birding festivals geared towards locals to create interest in birdwatching as a healthy and rewarding hobby and promote conservation under the theme "healthy habitats for birds are also healthy for humans". Our birding festivals include presentations & workshops in topics relating to birds, birding, tourism and conservation, and are complemented with birding walks led by local birding guides and volunteers from the local birding clubs. Our first festival in the Caribbean Coast of Honduras in March 2019 won the Mindful Birding Award for promoting ethical birding (the 1st international recipient of the award). Our second festival in Marcala (scheduled for November 2019) will focus on the importance of tree-shade grown coffee habitat for migratory birds from North America. During the festival we will join in the celebration of World Migratory Bird Day. The Marcala Birding Festival will also showcase local coffee farmers that are diversifying their farm income with agritourism as a way to counteract issues in coffee production from climate change and volatile coffee prices. Our third festival is scheduled for Copan in 2020 and will focus on birds in Mayan mythology and iconography. For the logistics of the festivals we hire national birding guides as trip leaders and source food, entertainment, ground transportation, and lodging from locally owned and operated entrepreneurs and companies.
Linking travel marketing to the local economy
Honduras Turismo y Marketing S.A. (HT&M), is a Honduran based travel marketing company working with local entrepreneurs and organized community groups in designing and marketing multi-day trip itineraries. showcasing the cultural and natural diversity of Honduras. Currently it markets the trips under two brands: Choose Honduras and Visit Honduras Coffee. As part of its marketing strategy, the company attends networking events, industry trade shows and travel shows in North America and Europe. Instead of purchasing the typical giveaways, HT&M purchases locally made products, bought directly from the artisans, to use as promos and giveaway items during events. For bird-watching shows, bird inspired key-chains are purchased from Artesanos y Guias El Pino, a grassroots organization that supports bird conservancy efforts, trains local guides, and provides free art classes to local kids. Located in the community of El Pino, Atlantida, Honduras. For other travel shows a document zippered pouch was designed by a local artist from La Ceiba, Honduras. The pouches are sewn by local seamstresses, and hand-painted with "Honduran travel themes" by local artist Ele from Cre@tive Enterprise. The result is that local artisans benefit from the tourism value chain even at the marketing and promotion stage. For potential travelers the giveaway has more meaning, as it is handmade, and this can create a positive emotional connection with the destination, even before the trip.
22nd UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China
Sustainable tourism is increasingly relevant in national agendas for its role in fostering economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets. This is now also recognized at the highest international level with the UN General Assembly having adopted several resolutions acknowledging the role of tourism in sustainable development, including the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This calls for evidence to support policy and track progress. UNWTO recognizes that, apart from being a technical exercise, the development and implementation of a statistical framework for sustainable tourism is very much a strategic endeavor that will require stakeholder engagement, inter-institutional coordination and political leadership. Participants had the chance to discuss methodological advances, explore emerging issues and learned from pioneering country experiences in this area of measurement. The Manila Conference gathered for the first time Ministers, Statistical Chiefs, Policy experts and statisticians dedicated to sustainable development, environment and tourism.
Reduce use of plastic bags
The Choose Honduras team is fully committed to sustainable tourism practices. Since 2003 we’ve worked closely with many of the regions of Honduras we operate in, with an eye toward helping the host communities and inhabitants become active participants in the travel industry and not just spectators.  We believe that responsible travel must be beneficial to everyone involved; the travelers, the local service providers, the host communities, and the natural environment where it takes place.  When local people benefit from tourism and participate in its value chain, they become committed; and local commitment helps maintain the cultural experiences truly authentic and helps protect the natural landscapes. As an initiative to support responsible and sustainable tourism, Choose Honduras is providing travelers with reusable shopping bags that are crafted and hand painted by local artisans, with the aime of reducing the consumption of plastic bags.