The Honduran Congress voted to suspend, for a 60 day review process, all fiscal exemptions, except for the ones related to the maquila industry and the production of renewable energy.
The tourism industry took a big hit with the announcement, particularly projects that were ready to begin their development, or that are in an advanced processing stage, representing an investment of at least $180 million.
Epaminondas Marinakis, President of the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras (Cámara Nacional de Turismo de Honduras – CANATURH), stated that with the review of the exemptions, “in the case of tourism, the impact is immediate”.
The businessman said that investors are very nervous about what may happen with this review, so he asked the authorities to be, “very prudent, to measure the social and economic impact that this will have.”
This call is similar to that made by the President of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (Consejo Hondureño de la Empresa Privada – Cohep), Aline Flores, who said that reviews should be “agile”.
The Honduras tourism industry generates about 156,000 direct jobs and approximately 400,000 indirect ones; last year it brought in roughly $700 million in foreign exchange earnings.