Three years after the earthquake that ravaged Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince and beyond, the country’s prime minister announced that the island is angling for affluent tourists as a way to become more self-sufficient.
A luxury lodging opened in December, one of 11 hotel projects underway. A tourist corridor in Cap Haitien in the north was just inaugurated. And a new tourist guide has hit the bookstores.
With its extreme poverty and turbulent politics, Haiti was hardly a tourist mecca even before the quake that killed about 316,000 people in January 2010. It’s uncertain whether pleasure-seeking vacationers would choose a place associated with so much tragedy and hardship — and where an estimated 350,000 are still living in makeshift camps.
Undaunted, the country’s prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, traveled to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late January, where he told The Associated Press, “Haiti is open for business.” He called tourism a “very high priority,” saying that building the industry is a path to greater self-sufficiency.
The five-star Royal Oasis, in Petionville, opened in December with 128-rooms and a starting rate at more than $200 a night. The presidential suite goes for $1,300. Nearing completion is a Best Western, and Comfort Suites and Marriott properties are planned, as well, reports The Miami Herald.
Read more: USAToday