For many nations across the world, 2017 saw its share of ups and downs economically, politically, and socially. Honduras, too, saw some difficult times in 2017, but the year also brought with it some phenomenal strides in innovation, investment, tourism, and public health. As infrastructure continues to improve, Honduras can expect a bright and fruitful future. Here’s some of the big forecasts for the nation according to the Legatum Institute in London and other respected economists.

Increased Peace and Stability

For a long time, Honduras’ reputation was tarnished by widespread violence linked to poverty and narcotics. However, law enforcement agents in Honduras recently reported that the rate of murders in their nation has fallen by 25% in the past year alone, continuing a 6-year trend of steadily declining occurrences of violence. Increased vigilance and coordination among law enforcement and improving economic prospects both have contributed to this happy news of peace. This decrease in violence can only be expected to continue as Honduran law enforcement officials continue to work diligently to remove the influence of the cartels and gangs in the country.

Increased Tourism

Central America has long been a tourist destination for Americans, Canadians, and others across the planet due to the vibrant culture, delectable cuisine, and picturesque landscapes. With the increased peace and stability, Honduras hopes to attract more and more travelers to explore their wildlife, beaches, museums, and cities. To that end, the government has already committed to increase the funding specifically designed to boost tourism. Already the federal government of Honduras as well as some local governments have invested money in maintaining their cultural centers (such as Mayan ruins and museums) as well as their natural flora and fauna, and these investments have paid off in the form of more visitors.

Tourism also powerfully bolsters the Honduran economy by supporting local entrepreneurs. One of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living in Honduras is to support general economic activity by coming, visiting, and freely spending money in the vibrant local communities. This just gives you one more reason to visit Honduras: not only are you having fun by visiting one of the best tourist destinations in the Caribbean, but you’re also supporting increased generalized prosperity and human flourishing in a sustainable way.

Personal Freedom On the Rise

According to the Legatum Institute, Honduras continues to climb the ranks in measures of personal freedoms. Legatum’s “personal freedom” score, “measures national progress towards basic legal rights, individual liberties and social tolerance.” Often called “civil liberties,” these rights encompass the people’s ability to freely interact with one another voluntarily and peacefully with value for value exchange without interference from their government, which means they are crucial to the development of a society. In 2017, Honduras ranked #53 among 149 nations for personal freedoms, so 2018 should see even more advances in this important area.

More Wildlife Preservation

Honduras boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world. This reef is most beautiful and accessible around one of my favorite Honduran destinations: the island of Roatan. Roatan is fighting tooth and nail to ensure these reefs stay healthy and beautiful, avoiding the fate of the shrinking Australian Great Barrier Reef. Park rangers have cracked down on illegal fishing and pollution that threaten the wellbeing of the aquatic life that draws visitors. These wonderful coral reefs are beautiful enough to warrant a trip to Roatan all by themselves. As Roatan continues to improve in the near future, the tourism these reefs attract can only be expected to increase.

Honduras on the Rise

Honduras is improving in nearly every measurable category, from tourism to safety to the potential for economic growth. We may soon see the day when Honduras reaches its true potential by becoming one of the fastest growing and prosperous countries in all of Latin America.