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April 10, 2015
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New Hotels, Flights Promote Business Travel to Haiti




Citadelle Laferrière is a large mountaintop fortress 17 miles south of Cap Haitien in northern Haiti.
Citadelle Laferrière is a large mountaintop fortress 17 miles south of Cap Haitien in northern Haiti.

For the first time since a devastating earthquake rocked the small Caribbean island five years ago, Haiti is now ready to welcome U.S. business travelers. Here’s a recap of the some of the recent and most significant tourism-related news out of Haiti...

Marriott Port-au-Prince Opens

The new Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti recently checked in its first guests during a soft opening in March and will have a formal grand opening in June. The journey to build this new property began four years ago when Marriott International reached out to former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Foundation to propose a new hotel to help Haiti rebuild its tourism industry after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The company found an eager partner in Digicel Group, which has invested $45 million to build the hotel in the Haut Turgeau area of Haiti’s capital city. It has 170 rooms, plus five suites, with Marriott’s signature amenities and features.

Hilton Making Move in 2016

Scheduled to open in 2016, the new Hilton Garden Inn Port-au-Prince Louverture Airport will be the first from Hilton and its Garden Inn brand in Haiti. The forthcoming hotel will be in the airport’s industrial park area, acting as the only internationally branded hotel at the airport. Staff will be available onsite at the airport complex to welcome travelers and arrange transfers. The property will have 152 guest rooms including eight suites. Dining options will include a full-service restaurant and lobby lounge offering cooked-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner.

La Sirene Bar at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel offers international top-branded cocktails, soft drinks and complimentary Wi-Fi.
La Sirene Bar at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel offers international top-branded cocktails, soft drinks and complimentary Wi-Fi.

 

Best Western Was the First

In 2013, the opening of the 106-room Best Western Premier Petion-Ville (just outside of the capital) marked the first U.S.-branded, full-service hotel in Haiti. It provides lodging and meeting space for financial, government and humanitarian organizations, as well as business and leisure travelers. Funded by two Haitian banks, the hotel created 130 local hospitality jobs. More than 100 local artisans and craftsmen contributed to its design and decor, and many of their works are for sale in the hotel’s art gallery.

Boost From Sunrise Airways

Sunrise Airways, Haiti’s newest homegrown airline, and the Haiti Ministry of Tourism recently announced they have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost tourism arrivals to Haiti.

New hotel construction and redevelopment programs combined with airport expansion initiatives, new hospitality education and training programs, the advent of a dedicated tourism police force, and the opening of several new visitor attraction centers at key historical sites to revitalize Haiti’s tourism industry. All told, current tourism sector investment by the Haitian government and foreign investors exceeds $258 million.

In addition to inaugurating new routes across the Western Caribbean in 2013, Sunrise Airways also achieved several significant corporate milestones. Most notably, in July 2013 Sunrise Airways became the first-ever Haitian airline to join the Flight Safety Foundation.


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About the Author: Joe Pike



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