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Boosting tourism in Haiti, a social and political challenge

Jean-Paul Guillobel, a Vatelien and a Hotel Marketing Consultant in Haiti, gives us his opinion on the touristic wealth his native island has.

Boosting tourism in Haiti, a social and political challenge

"Haiti is a country full of cultures, artists, mysteries, culinary treats, colors, and contrasts. It’s also a country with a rich and interesting cultural, historic and natural heritage.

Make up your own minds:

  • The Citadelle La Ferrière, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the largest fortress in the Americas;
  • The many fortifications such as the Jacques & Alexandre Forts, built after Haiti’s independence in 1804, to defend the young nation.
  • Jacmel’s historical center, harmonious buildings dating from the beginning of the 20th century.
  • The “Hippolyte Market" also known as the “Iron Market,” built in 1889, which for decades, was Port au- Prince’s most important trading and shopping zone;
  • The Bassin Bleu in Jacmel and the Bassin Zim in Plateau Central, a famous series of ponds and waterfalls;
  • Heavenly white-sand beaches in Labadie, Abaka Bay in Port-Morgan, Gonave Island and Cotes-de-Fer;
  • The Voodoo cult, the spirits of the dead, its erotic dances, the Carnival;
  • A population that welcomes you with open arms, friendly and diverse.

In spite of this priceless touristic capital, Haiti’s reputation has suffered over the past three decades by a challenging social, political and economic situation, visible insecurity, as well as the tragic earthquake of 2010.

HaitiBut now, since 2011, boosted by our last constitutionally elected government, Haiti is once again supporting its tourist sector.

The Minister of Tourism rolled out an ambitious marketing campaign that highlights the touristic treasures in the island, counting on the diaspora and Haitians themselves on social networking utilities.

Haiti is also now on the list of new places to visit, which leads us to believe we’ve got a promising touristic future in the country. The Le Monde paper has listed Haiti as one of 2016’s must-see countries.

This new destination interests international hotel chains who are investing in Haiti: in the past few years, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Best Western International Inc., NH Hotel Group and Marriott Hotels have all built several luxury hotels in Port-au- Prince, Haiti’s capital. […]

Nonetheless, sustainable tourism which includes local populations and gives visitors high quality services must still be built in the Caribbean Area, and in particular, in Haiti.

Is Haiti ready to invest in its population and political stability to make tourism one of its economic pillars?

It’s a question of political willingness and social commitment! " 

Guillobel Jean Paul  Jean-Paul GUILLOBEL, class of 2010

  Read his Success Story


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