IDB approved $36 million grant to foster tourism along Haiti's southern coastline

The statistics are that 80% of Haitians living in rural areas survive by farming for their food. The country has the lowest employment rate in the region with only 60% working within the formal sector. With Haiti's shift towards tourism for its main industry, hopes are high for those living in the capital and the more popular tourist cities in the north. But what about those in the southern parts of Haiti?


Those areas, with little by way of attraction for tourists seeking the beauty of the country, have been granted a possible foothold in Haiti's bright tourism future. It comes in the form of a grant of $36 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to be used to nurture the tourist potential of sites along the southern coastline that are rich in natural resources, culture and history, but poor in aesthetic beauty, and proper industry facilities. Today, 90% of the historic attractions don't have the necessary facilities to make them useable. The towns aren't home to many, if any, beautiful hotels, the beaches are polluted and eroded, and even though some host international festivals, the infrastructure to receive tourists just isn't present.

The cash injected is to be used in very specific ways to combat these issues. Most of it (71%) is to be used to rehabilitate historic locations, perform a cleanup of the environment, and erect cultural buildings and markets for artisans. Part of the remaining grant (12%) will go towards funding training for excursion, hospitality and entertainment workers, providing well-needed formal employment to the area's residents, and for the fortifying of the organizational capacity of the authorities.

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