The western third of Hispaniola island has turbulent & tragic history, yet even after 2010's catastrophe offers compelling attractions, from grade-A rum & beaches to the mysterious Citadelle & African-derived voudon rituals. And it needs our support!

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Popular resort deals blow to Haitian tourism

NG Travel Group (6th French tour operator) which offers the 4-star Coralia Royal Decameron Hotel, on the Côte des Arcadins in Haiti, the parent company of the tour operator Boomerang, announces the cancellation until March 15, 2019 of all the departures of its travelers to Haiti, due to socio-political instability." Such a shame...More details at https://travelwirenews.com/hard-blow-for-haiti-and-the-development-of-the-haitian-tourism-sector-1300009/

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Finally, A Comeback for Travel to Haiti?

Because of its tough history, Haiti has for many years been a notoriously tough sell in attracting visitors despite allures that are the equal of most Caribbean destinations. But thanks to factors such as concrete improvements in tourism infrastructure, and unprecedented tourism marketing plans from the Haitian government, and increased interest and engagement from tour operators and airlines, chances are good that 2013 could be the year that... keep reading

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Haiti: The Audacity of Beauty

  Haiti and travel aren't words that naturally pair in our minds. But photojournalist Maggie Steber, who's visited and revisited the country on and off assignment for 30 years, sees beauty there. As reported in Outside Magazine and the New York Times Lens Blog, there's plenty of beauty in Steber's images and stories showcased in her new website  Audacity of Beauty."Maybe it's not what we outsiders would recognize as beauty," says Steber in a series of videos on the site."Maybe it's an audacious…

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  • A month ago, the British travel site Wanderlust.co.uk ran a piece called "Discovering the Real Haiti" in which it claims "It seems that, from the (now mostly cleared) rubble, a new Haiti is emerging." Well, we've heard this kind of thing before, but writer Phoebe Smith says that this time evidence includes: "chain hotels are springing up; flights from Latin America are launching, making Haiti a viable add-on to a South or Central American adventure; the diaspora in the USA are beginning to take vacations in the coastal resorts of Côte des Arcadins; and whispers abound of more cruise-ship visits – currently only one boat docks here, and that’s on a local-free private beach." Read about it for yourself: https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/discovering-the-real-haiti/
  • Another interesting sign of life up north (east of Gonaives), mentioned in the Herald this week:

    New Road Ushers in Trade Boom for Area in Haiti

    "...six months after the Jan. 12 earthquake killed 300,000, left 1.5 million homeless and paralyzed much of the country, the stretch of blacktop that fuels the market and snakes through northeastern Haiti has the hopes of a nation riding on it.

    ...regional boosters see the road as the backbone of a tourist route that will whisk visitors to colonial castles, pristine beaches and picturesque villages seen only by the heartiest of travelers.

    It used to take cargo trucks eight hours to make the 44-mile trip from Cap-Haitien, the northeast's economic and cultural hub, he said. Now, that trip takes less than two hours, and the streets of Ouanaminthe are jammed with buses and trucks from villages once considered far-flung.

    As the route slices through undeveloped savannas and plantain fields it also puts some of Haiti's most prized tourist destinations within reach. Less than an hour from the Dominican Republic is the port city of Fort Liberté, which features French-designed strongholds that date back to the 1700s. Closer to Cap-Haitien is the spectacular hilltop citadel of Laferriére, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace -- built by Haitian revolutionary hero and one-time emperor of the Kingdom of Northern Haiti, Henri Christophe. ``These forts can become part of a tourist circuit,'' Boulos explained, ``with tourists arriving through Cap-Haitien or making the two-hour drive from the Dominican Republic.''

    Haiti saw just 800,000 tourists in 2008 and growth has been stunted by lack of infrastructure, including hotels. The earthquake wiped out almost half of Port-au-Prince's estimated 1,621 hotel rooms.

    The new road allows Haiti to piggyback on the more than 60,300 rooms available in the Dominican Republic and poach some of the 4 million tourists that visit there every year...

    That would just be the beginning. U.N. Special Envoy Bill Clinton said once Cap-Haitien's airport is expanded, the case can be made for building roads to connect the city to the beach resort of Labadee.

    ``We can get new resorts built there,'' Clinton told The Miami Herald. ``I can get donors' funds to help build housing around the resorts for the people who will work there.''
  • An interesting and encouraging bit of tourism news from Haiti I spotted in today's Miami Herald: the Oasis Hotel project in Petionville (an outlying part of Port-au-Prince) is back on track with a $7.5 million loan from a World Bank agency and is now scheduled to open in November 2011. It's supposed to be a chic, South-Beach-style resort with 132 rooms.
  • Hope everyone has sent a little something in to help Haiti recover from the earthquake!
  • This weekend, the Tripatini blog asks the question: Could Tourism Help Save Haiti?
    blog.TRIPATINI.COM
  • I wrote a piece on a local San Francisco charity helping Haiti (which it has been doing since 2000) and how they see the looting going on there. Feel free to check it out.
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-29076-SF-World-Travel-Examiner~y...
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