Tourism Cares Inc., the Clinton Foundation, the Haitian Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Association of Haiti (ATH) have teamed to launch the Northern Haiti Tourism Coalition, which will focus on establishing and promoting tourism to Northern Haiti. The Coalition’s first project, funded with $10,000 grants from each organization, will be the establishment of “capacity-building projects” needed to manage the expansion of tourism to the National History Park of Citadelle historic mountaintop fortress.
A new road under construction will provide access to the Citadelle for guests at Royal Caribbean International’s private cruise port in Labadee and tour operators and hoteliers hosting land-based travelers.
The Clinton Foundation will seek to attract new investment and tour operators to support the project, while Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism will “support the Coalition’s initiatives through public facilitation and logistical support,” according to a Coalition statement. Meanwhile Tourism Cares will “assess the needs for the region to provide positive experiences for visitors to the Citadelle” while the ATH will host tourism professionals who will “provide feedback for a better visitor experience for international tourists.”
The Coalition parties intend the Citadelle project to “evolve into a longer-term collaborative tourism development program” to help revitalize Haiti’s tourism sector. The Coalition will work closely with international organizations mobilizing development funds for Haiti, including the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.
“Haiti has had a long tradition of hosting vacationers who have enjoyed its culture, history, arts and crafts, cuisine and beauty,” said Bruce Beckham, Executive Director of Tourism Cares. “The members of this coalition believe a renaissance is taking place in Haiti and its people and places can and will revive that tradition.”
“Haiti is open for business and tourism leads the way,” added Stephanie B. Villedrouin, minister of tourism. “Travel agencies, tour operators and investors are welcomed to evaluate the opportunities of our different regions.”