tourism - Haiti Observer Blog

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Mountain bike stage race, Second Year in Haiti

With Haiti's transportation system, filled as it is with well-occupied moto-taxis on unpaved roads, a little mountain bike riding fits in well in the country that makes nail-biting transportation an everyday occurrence. Called Mountain Bike Ayiti, the stage race is being put on for its second year in the country in January of next year, following the success of the first event early this year.

Having drawn the attention of riders from home and from abroad like, Marla Streb, Hans Rey, and the race's winner, Sonya Looney this year, the race will offer up a challenge to the riders who traverse the aptly titled 'land of mountains' next year. They are bound to find great adventure riding through the mountains above Port-au-Prince and along the coast of Cotes des Arcadins.

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Labadee, Haitian Port Located On the Northern Coast Of Haiti

"Labadee" is a port surrounded by beautiful mountain slopes and exotic foliage on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private paradise leased out (until 2050) to Royal Caribbean International, a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami.

The company has agreed since 1986 to contribute larger portion of their tourist revenue to Haiti government and pay $6 per tourist to the same Haitian authority. They also employed 300 Haitians around Labadee and allowed another 200 to sell their merchandise (who never bug you to buy there things) on their premises for a fee. The resort is situated on a peninsula; it is a secluded, secured place with modern and clean rooms which have fully functioning bathrooms with every modern amenities. Tourists' foods are supplied by the cruise ships.

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La Gonave Government in Talks to Develop Island for Tourist Trade

Gonâve Island lies on the Caribbean Sea, in the Gulf of Gonâve, to the west and northwest of Port-au-Prince. It is in the La Gonâve Arrondissement, part of Ouest Department. Because the island's topography is composed mainly of limestone, it lacks sufficient vegetation, and low levels of annual rainfall bring on water shortages. La Gonâve Arrondissement is comprised of two districts, Anse-à-Galets and Pointe-à-Raquette. It has a large population of 80,000 inhabitants.

Gonâve's biggest challenge is the scarceness of its water supply. In 2005, a crisis arose when the island experienced a severe drought, bringing many aid agencies to its rescue, sealing springs and erecting rainwater tanks. They have also installed an island-wide water-transport system and dug wells to deliver water to the drought-stricken islanders. A consortium of government, non-government and non-profit organizations, churches, and other aid organizations have established the Water Platform. This body coordinates the efforts of all agencies working on Gonâve to further their work. Within two years of the drought crisis, 25 wells had been dug and more were planned.

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Grande-Riviere-du-Nord Modernization will bring Tourist Dollars

In the Nord Department of Haiti lies Grande-Rivière-du-Nord, part of its Arrondissement that observed the 300th anniversary of its founding at St. Rose de Lima Church.

The city is one of the few places in Haiti to possess a large population of people living to 100 years of age. No one knows exactly why, but future studies may give up some answers.

A place of historical interest in Grande-Rivière-du-Nord is Gallifet Plantation where Haiti's slave revolt began, motivated by Voodoo rites.

Many of Haiti's rulers have been born in Grande-Rivière-du-Nord, among them first ruler, Jean-Jacques Dessalines. It has also been the birthplace of Haiti's intelligentsia: Jean Price Mars, who pioneered the Negritude movement, inspiring the Black is Beautiful slogan of the 60s.

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Venezuela Plays Large Role in Haiti's Recovery

Venezuela is one of the biggest contributors to the recovery efforts happening in Haiti since the 2010 quake. Involved in several projects to develop Haiti's infrastructure, they are pumping $341 million USD into housing, tourism, and healthcare services.

After a visit to Caracas in early October, Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe, made an announcement that the government of Venezuela (GOV) has committed to building 4,400 new homes in Haiti, at a cost of $260 million USD. The bulk of the housing, 3,900 housing units, is to be built in Port-au-Prince that was hardest hit during the 7.0 magnitude trembler. Île a Vache, on track for tourism development, will be given 500 housing units. Ile a Vache is also to receive another $66 million USD from GOV, in part, for a new resort hotel. It doesn't stop there. Venezuela's Development Bank of Venezuela will pay for healthcare clinics for a cost of $15 million USD.

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Haiti PM, Laurent Lamothe, Launches "Destination Ile a Vache" Tourism Project

The Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe visited the island of Ile a Vache, on August 20, 2013-- the most beautiful island in the Caribbean and a promising tourist destination in Haiti. He was accompanied by the Tourism Minister and the Minister of Social Affairs of the state. The Prime minister laid the first stone on the island's upcoming community centre that will include a library with a reading room, café and other entertainment amenities within its vast 120 square meter space. The Prime Minister said the project is the most ambitious project during the five year tenure of President Michel Martelly.

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Natural Park Quisqueya Lake Festival to Promote Eco-Tourism in a Ten Day Event

One of Haiti's natural resources, Natural Park Quisqueya (NPQ), is holding its first Lake Festival, beginning August 23rd and running through September 1st 2013. The Foundation for the Development of Alternative Tourism in Haiti (FONDTAH) and its partner, AfricAmerican Foundation (AAF), are initiators of the ten day and -night event.

One of the purposes of the festival, FONDTAH and AAF, say is to draw more eco-tourism to NPQ, so private investment will enable increased local-product exports. The idea is to show off the attractions that make NPQ a biodiversity hotspot, seat of unusual flora and fauna species.

The Lake Festival Committee has planned an event calendar to include art and culture; ecology and biodiversity forums; and multi-communal exchanges.

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Cotes Des Arcadins, Montruis

Located on the western side of the Hispaniola Island, Haiti is right in the heart of the Arcadian coast or the Cotes-des-Arcadins. The coast is made of long beaches of white sands and is considered among the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is a perfect hideout for tourists who want to spend some time in the lap of natural beauty that looks surreal and those who love fishing and sailing. Cotes-des-Arcadins is known for its three exotic beaches that provide a very pleasing climate and beautiful scenic beauty in Caribbean region.

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Botanica Garden or Jardin Botanique of Cayes a Green Reserve

Jardin Botanical Gardens of Les Cayes (JBC) was established in fall 2003. Its goals are replenishing ruined areas of biodiversity throughout Haiti and building infrastructure for maintaining biological legacy of island natural resources. JBC wishes to educate Haitian lawmakers legislating protections for Haiti's plant- and animal-life biodiversity is good for the future of eco-tourism, and for the country's morale.

The non-government organization, Botanical Gardens in Conservation (BGCI), works in tandem with JBC to set standards for creating, implementing, and sustaining botanical gardens and arboretums globally. They have defined markers that determine if a green space is a botanical garden, as opposed to civic or decorative parks.

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Cormier Plage near Cap-Haitian

The vast and beautiful Atlantic Ocean greets you on one side with a pristine, unpolluted beach to beckon you into its shallows. On the other side is a teeming, voluminous botanical garden, overflowing with exotic plants, flowers and trees. One of 34 copious, airy guest rooms opens up to you; modestly elegant furnishings and perks like a spacious bathroom, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning make you already glad you came. Then comes the clincher... a walk-out balcony facing the sea and garden that had been beckoning to you since you first arrived.

This is the type of magic the Cormier Plage Hotel and Resort enlists to give its patrons a most wonderful stay. Located so advantageously, it could almost be called the cynosure of Haiti's north coast, Cormier Plage could easily be used as the starting point for a drove of other vacations in nearby Labadee, Cap-Haitien, Amiga Island and more.

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