Do travel warnings need to happen? Honestly? No. They can be appreciated for reminding people that these countries are dangerous. But the biggest thing they do is prevent people from coming to Honduras. Which is most likely their intention.

Thousands of individuals from the United States, and other English speaking countries come to Honduras. Some stay for longer than others. Whereas some stay for less than 10 days. But the reality is that many of them stay perfectly safe, cautious due to media coverage of Honduras, of warnings by hotel administration, and by stories from friends who’ve gone and come back. U.S. citizens do get robbed in Honduras. From time to time they get murdered. But one of the issues with the latest travel warning is that it doesn’t state if the murder victims in Honduras were tourists, or if they were one of the many Embassy workers, or U.S. citizens working within Soto Cano. That is a clarification that is needed.

Honduras is not a paradise. But the objective reality is that it is getting safer. Day by day. It isn’t easy to make a country like Honduras, where corruption is institutional and where crime is rampant safer, but every source states that Honduras is gradually getting safer. And tourism helps.

The administration of Juan Orlando has worked hard to motivate tourists, by making the touristic zones safer and more friendly to tourism and investments. Individual mayors throughout the country have worked with business leaders and individuals who benefit from tourism to make their cities far more friendly to tourism. Tourism does help Honduras. It can encourage investments (like how it motivated Randy Jorgensen to invest in Trujillo, which hasn’t been universally positive, but it has helped urge cruise-ships to visit Trujillo, regardless of the other, far less positive consequences of the investments), it can help ensure small businesses largely dependent on tourism to continue to survive, it can help motivate up and coming businesses nationwide that need the help of tourism. It isn’t the institution of Honduras which benefits from tourism, but rather the ordinary Hondurans who benefit from tourism. It is regular business owners, regular shop-workers, who benefit from tourism. And in issuing these warnings, the State Department causes economic harm to those men and women. It causes people to be laid-off. It causes hotels to lose potential guests. It doesn’t help anyone when it issues these warnings.

It’s frustrating to read these warnings again and again.

Map of Honduras, found on travel warning article

Map of Honduras from travel warning article

Travel warning at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/honduras-travel-warning.html


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