Tourism is important for every country in the Caribbean, so important that countries like the Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Jamaica are developing innovative ways to attract more tourists by 2020. The Dominican Republic is projected to attract over 10 million tourists in that time. In Haiti, while we share the same natural potentials including historical sites, crystal-clear water, beautiful beaches and natural waterfalls, the country is still struggling to put into place a system that can facilitate more investment in the tourism sector.
The former Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Villedrouin tried her best; however, I believe too many personal interests were involved in the process, not her personally, but mostly the people around her. The minister failed to realize the true tourism potential of Cap-Haitien and missed the opportunity to invest time and energy and initiate a development prototype for the rest of the country. Now you may be asking yourself, “Why Cap-Haitien?” What about Jacmel, Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes or Cotes de Fers? They all have the potential to become great tourists spots? I don’t ignore the possibilities of these cities; however, Cap-Haitien is a unique city with easy access to the world, and with all the potentials citing at the beginning of this article. Additionally, the city is already receiving thousands of cruise tourists every week, almost a million a year.
The last time I visited Cap-Haitien, I realized that the Labadee road is being built, and a number of new hotels are slowly taking shape in the mountains. I believe it is a major step for tourism in the region, but I also believe we need to do more with real regulations which will facilitate more investments in all related industries that can help boost the tourism and allow local and international tourists to have a great experience.