Promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly tourism was the central theme of a panel discussion held in Honduras on Wednesday to kick off the commemorative events in the country for the 50th anniversary of EFE in Central America.
The forum, titled “Tourism in the Times of Climate Uncertainty,” featured the participation of high-ranking officials from Honduras and representatives from private companies. It was moderated by Manuel Fuentes, Editorial Director of the Americas at the EFE Agency.
Luis Chévez, the Deputy Minister of Tourism of Honduras, emphasized during the event, held at the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa, the importance of building sustainable development that allows us to “adapt” to climate change and advocated for innovation.
The Ministry of Tourism of Honduras promotes Central American connectivity, Chévez noted, highlighting the importance of having a “more diversified and resilient” tourism sector.
He stated that Honduras has a “developed tourist hub” and recognized the need to promote “regenerative tourism” to enhance and recover an enviable cultural heritage.
“We are talking about coastal tourism, but our reef,” according to science, “is going to disappear” due to climate change, so it is necessary to diversify our economies,” Chévez pointed out.
Karla Ávila, Manager of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Cervecería Hondureña, Siham Gabrie, Regional Manager of Environmental and Social Risk at Grupo Financiero Ficohsa, and Romina Kasman, Head of the Education Section at the UNESCO Multipurpose Office, also participated in the forum. Programs to protect the environment
Gabrie, in turn, stated that all productive sectors “are vulnerable to climate change, and the tourism sector is no exception.”
“We need to accelerate climate-related actions, develop programs to protect the environment, especially in the tourism area, to ensure sector resilience,” Gabrie emphasized.
She urged Central America to promote the beauty it possesses as a bloc and highlighted that Ficohsa finances “sustainable and environmentally-friendly” projects.
Gabrie emphasized the importance of promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly tourism development.
Ávila, on the other hand, pointed out that Cervecería Hondureña supports garbage collection efforts in the Central American country and lamented that pollution from the neighboring Motagua River, whose waste ends up on the coasts of Honduras, “drives away” tourism.
The private sector must promote sustainability to protect tourism and address the climate crisis, Ávila stressed.
Kasman also emphasized the importance of investing in education that fosters a love for one’s land, territory, and awareness that it is a common good. Generating a sense of belonging is essential.
The panel discussion marked the beginning of the celebrations for EFE in Tegucigalpa and will be followed by a photographic exhibition titled “Central America, 50 Years in 50 Images,” available until November 18.
EFE’s history in Central America began in 1972 with the founding of ACAN-EFE (Central American News Agency-EFE), a regional agency in which the most important media outlets in each Central American country became shareholders.
The first celebration of EFE’s 50th anniversary in Central America took place in Panama in November 2022, with the presence of EFE’s President, Gabriela Cañas. Subsequently, a second event was held in Guatemala last May, followed by a third one in September in Costa Rica.
The forum, organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Tegucigalpa, was supported by Coca-Cola, HRN Group, Castillo Hermanos Corporation, Grupo Financiero Ficohsa, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, as well as the InterContinental Tegucigalpa Hotel and Iberia.