The Caribbean Islands, once you see one you see them all

When it comes to tourism, Haiti has many strikes against it. The instability of the government of Haiti (GOH) scares off private investors, and lack of a major strategy hinders tourism development. Development companies like Chemonics International Inc., who has received $196 million in funding since 2010, are another impediment, doing virtually nothing to improve Haiti's tourism infrastructure.


It's not only a paucity of funding to build up infrastructure with more resort areas and trained hospitality workers; it's how Haiti is marketing itself. One industry insider reports Haiti is not emphasizing eco-tourism; another, the island has fallen prey to travel packages that don't encourage side excursions. In addition, trans-cultural exporting drains the island of all its color and flavor. Instead of hearing Compás, Zouk, and Racine music, tourists listen to non-Haitian Reggae. Cuisine is also imported, displacing Haitian foods raised and harvested that make up the national dining experience.

Further relating to Haiti's underdeveloped tourism infrastructure is the dearth of paved roads. Many rustic places on the island that would give tourists a unique experience are largely inaccessible to ground and airport transit.

Minister of Tourism, Stephanie Villedrouin, who seems to be a one-woman enterprise, needs more staff, more partnerships, and more private investment. The final word is President Martelly needs to stop whining the GOH doesn't want hand-outs, and will fix its own problems. That would mean stamping out corruption for starters. Perhaps then Haiti could take advantage of more aid to the country, to repair and grow its economy.

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Read more: tourism, Caribbean, Eco-Tourism, Travel and Tourism

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