Is tourism Haiti’s magic bullet: an empirical treatment of Haiti’s tourism potential

Is tourism Haiti’s magic bullet: an empirical treatment of Haiti’s tourism potential

This study highlights some of the challenges facing tourism in Haiti. The paper notes that the Haitian government has elevated tourism to the top of its development agenda, yet prospects for success are uncertain.

The paper indicates that Haitian government hopes that an influx of foreign currency generated by tourist dollars could help lift the country out of aid-dependency. In this respect, an encouraging finding of the study is that Haiti is a fairly safe place for tourists - overall tourists feel safer than expected during their stay in Haiti. Nevertheless, recent tourism projects are geared towards wealthy individuals and business travelers, while half of all tourists who come to Haiti are working class. Still, the document emphasises that with a rich history and vibrant culture, Haiti has much to offer visitors.

Recommendations contain:

  • efforts to improve the tourism infrastructure in Haiti should be mindful of the fact that few tourists come to Haiti solely for recreational or leisure purposes - even if wealthy tourists are desirable market segment from a foreign exchange perspective
  • with careful planning and inclusion of all socioeconomic classes in tourism efforts, Haitian culture can be preserved as local residents are empowered to present and celebrate their own definition of local culture
  • a critical priority for the Haitian government is to explore ways of creating the conditions for positive interaction with tourists, while ensuring the integration and dignity of Haitian citizens from all backgrounds

 

 

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