One of the 4 countries we focus on at the MagkaSama Project is Haiti. We love this country, its history and the people, and we regularly publish news about the country you can read on this page.
Even if the news are not always very joyful as Haiti is facing many difficulties (such as the cholera outbreak), the country has a rich history and is resourceful. You can read our dedicated page: En Route to Haiti, we organized several online discussions about the books of Edwidge Danticat, and we invited you to attend the conference by Dany Laferrière at La Sorbonne in Paris. More recently, in January, we posted an article about the 12th Annual Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival.
Today we want to share with you an article we read on the Haitian Times by Carlo Chancelien, a Haitian professional in marketing and tourism:
Diaspora tourism comes in many shapes and forms, including family visits, heritage or “roots” tourism, among other renditions. Regardless of the purpose of their travels, diaspora members are more likely to infuse money into the local economy when traveling to their country of heritage than most international tourists. Diasporas can help open markets for new tourist destinations in their countries of heritage.
He points out the role of the Haitian Government:
The Haitian diaspora is estimated at roughly 2 million people, sending almost US $3 billion yearly in remittances to Haiti, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which represents the equivalent of more than half of Haiti’s gross national product (GNP). The Ministry of Tourism, along with the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE), could develop a joint plan to attract and motivate the Haitian diaspora to visit. This way, diaspora Haitians have a way to establish an emotional connection with Haiti.
Chancelien would like to make the Haitian diaspora more eager to rediscover and reconnect with their country of origin. It would ultimately result in an increase in revenue for the Haitian economy, including a growth in the tourism sector of Haiti.
Even the World Bank published an article: What is next for Haiti’s tourism? Improving resilience and creating a new destination in the Caribbean:
Every year, half a million tourists flock to the beaches of Labadee, where Royal Caribbean Cruise ships dock for the benefit of passengers yearning for a brief escape to Caribbean shores. The Atlantic-bathed beach resort is located some six kilometers from the northern city of Cap-Haïtien. It has become a genuine tourist destination thanks to its colonial architecture, it’s delicious ‘’capois’’ cuisine and its proximity to the National History Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting historic monuments such as the Citadelle Henry, the Sans Souci Palace, and the Milot Church.
Haiti, the first black republic in the Western hemisphere, has a rich cultural history and many resources. Haitian are great, strong and resilient and they have a lot to offer. We hope many of you will discover this beautiful country and we will continue to support all initiatives and activities from Haitians and the diaspora to help make a change for the better!