Haiti - Travel and TourismHaiti - Travel and Tourism
OverviewThe most successful tourism “hot spot” is Labadie, near Cap Haitian, where Royal Caribbean Cruise lines maintain a private beach exclusively for its cruise passengers. The company is also considering facilitating excursions to the Citadelle, situated nearby, so cruise ship passengers and tourists can enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Otherwise, the Labadie enclave is cordoned off from the rest of Haiti with very little interaction with other businesses on the north shore or elsewhere. To date, cruise passengers only spend the day at Labadie, although there are plans to make it an overnight stop.
To revive its tourism sector, the government of Haiti focused on bolstering capacity in the hotel sector with the help of private sector representatives. Today Haiti has a total capacity of 4495 rooms, which range from $120 to $150 per night during the high season for a standard room. There are several small hotels along the Côte des Arcadins, north of Port-au-Prince, that attract the Haitian diaspora, faith based organizations, middle-class Haitians, and some international visitors. Little investment has gone into these hotels although tourists arriving in Haiti through packaged tours often stay there for one or two nights. Airbnb’s are also now increasingly available throughout Haiti’s major metropolitan areas.
International organizations, aid workers, and non-profit organizations have kept occupancy rates at hotels in Port-au-Prince in the range of 50 percent. In February 2015, a new $45 million, 175-room Marriott hotel was inaugurated in Port-au-Prince and, along with the Karibe, El Rancho, and Montana, makes up the four major hotels in Haiti that offer conference facilities.
As a boost to Haiti’s growing northern corridor, the Marriott is renovating the Habitation Jouissant in Cap-Haitien, which will become part of the Marriott Autograph Collection once it has been completed. The project is expected to be completed by January 2019. Club Indigo Beach Resort, the former Club Med on the Côte des Arcadins, underwent a major renovation and has been transformed into an all-inclusive resort under the Colombian brand Royal Decameron. Royal Decameron has 380 rooms and offers stays for as low as $75 a night.
Revival of the tourism sector is a Haitian government priority. The sector reportedly accounts for 5 percent of Haiti’s GDP. In the last five years, the government of Haiti has made much progress in the tourism sector. Several international travel agencies, including Wild Frontiers, offer small-group tours to Haiti’s historical landmarks, including Bassin Bleu, the Citadelle, and the Sans-Souci Palace.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) reported that 685,064 cruise passengers transited Haiti in 2016, up from 673,501 in 2015. The number of stay-over tourist arrivals to Haiti was 412,058 in 2016. The CTO reported that Haiti had a 20.11 percent drop in international arrivals in 2016. The slowdown is largely attributed to political turmoil, and Hurricane Matthew during the peak summer season, that resulted in cancellations.
Leading Sub-SectorsTo improve Haiti’s tourism sector, the government of Haiti must improve basic infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, and power grids, throughout the country and improve the construction of hotels outside of Port-au-Prince.
Opportunities in the tourism sector are closely linked to other sectors— telecommunications, electrical power systems, and transportation. The government is exploring the addition of new destination sites including the construction of 150 miles of roads that lead to the Saut-d’Eau and Bassin Zim waterfalls in Haiti’s Center Department. During the past four years, the government invested over $345 million dollars in the tourism industry, and additional measures are also underway to facilitate further major investments.
Web ResourcesAssociation of Travel Agencies
24, Ruelle Berne
Tel: (509) 2942-0038
Ministry of Tourism
H.E. Colombe Emilie Jessy Menos
8, Rue Legitime
Champs de Mars
HT 6112 - Port-au-Prince - HAITI
Tel: (509) 2949-2010 / 2949-2011 / 2223-5633
Tourist Association of Haiti: http://www.ladiasporahaitienne.com/detail/l--association-touristique-d--haiti-ath-901.html
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Haiti Travel and Tourism Trade Development and Promotion