Haiti open for tourism, business and investment
Haiti is open for business and investment and the country is encouraging the world to visit.
Speaking to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation at t ITB Berlin, tourism officials from Haiti said that is the message they want to get out since many people still believe the country is under rubble from the 2010 earthquake.
“Haiti was and is still there, we never left. We are still open for business, we are still open for investment, we are still open for investment and we want everyone to come and enjoy our country,” said cabinet director Savela Berenji.
Philippe Stephenson, the director of the regional integrated programme for tourism in the south, said over the last six years there has been major hotel investment in Haiti with a Marriott, Best Weston, El Rancho, part of the NH Hotel chain, the Colombian owned De Carmeron as well as locally-owned hotels, which, he said, are up to international standards.
“So that image that Haiti is still under trouble is not true, we are stronger today, we are growing and we are open,” he said.
Haiti is banking on its tourism sector to help the country’s economy. The sector took a hit in recent times, however, with violent protests that elicited travel warnings from the US.
“What we are trying to do here is putting tourism as an economic factor that could help us grow. Tourism is a direct entrant of money,” he said, noting that the Minister of Tourism is working hard to make tourism a priority.
Stephenson said they were in Berlin to show Haiti’s diverse offerings: culture, history, and food.
Pascale Hilaire said Haitian airline, Sunrise Airways, aims to connect the Caribbean and is selling the concept of island-hopping to the Europeans.
“Right now we are connecting with Cuba, we have 14 flights per week, Dominican Republic, Curacao and we are talking about Jamaica, St Maarten and going up. We think the Germans coming from here to the Caribbean would like to visit more than one destination so we think they like if we offer that,” she said.