Tourism was the country's main economic motor but since the coup, says [former tourism minister] Ricardo Martínez, Honduras' tourism industry, which grew by a robust 9% in 2008, has plummeted 70%. The 7% tourism growth projections for 2009 are now expected to dip into the red. And the 155,000 Hondurans employed by the tourism industry are, in the words of Martínez, "suffering violently." Several TACA airlines flights to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, which used to bring hundreds of tourists to Honduras every day, have been canceled. A project to build an international airport at the Copán ruins was suspended, and charter groups from Europe are backing out. Overall, it's estimated that Honduras' economy has been set back 10 years over the past three months.
- Time Magazine
This article accurately reports the alarming toll the political crisis has had on the Honduran tourism industry, however, its tone is heavily biased toward the Zelayistas (as is the case with most foreign media reports). The author fails to mention that the reason Honduras got in this mess in the first place is because former president Manuel Zelaya broke our laws and refused to obey our courts. Zelaya is the ground zero of the problem. He's really the one who pulled the coup d'etat when he acted as if he was above the law, not the interim government. The foreign media needs to stop treating him and his supporters as victims!
The fact that Mr. Martinez is using a public forum to inflect even more damage on a crippled Honduran tourism industry speaks volumes of what a little man he is. Debería estar avergonzado de sí mismo, señor Martinez.
Hat tip to Pete.