Reasons to Invest in Haiti’s Tourism Industry:
- Gorgeous, undeveloped natural landscapes including pristine beaches, coral reefs,underground caves and mountains;
- Convenient destination for North American tourists;
- Increasing awareness of Haiti as a vacation destination; and
- Growing presence of tourism infrastructure.
High Growth and Vast Potential
Haiti’s considerable tourism assets range from natural to cultural assets and history that make it a highly desirable destination in the Caribbean. The 1,700 km long coastline is defined by beautiful, pristine beaches and offshore coral reefs. Other attractions include rugged mountains, colonial architecture and cultural treasures, including La Citadelle, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Known as ‘The Pearl of the West Indies” during its heyday as a tourism destination after WWII, Haiti is eager and ready to re-establish itself as one of the region’s prime tourist locations. Both Haiti’s private and public sectors are committed to achieving this goal.
Tourism arrivals have been increasing since 2010. In 2013 around 644,000 cruise ship passengers and over 419,000 other tourists visited Haiti, amounting to more than 1 million tourists during that year. Figures through September 2014 show a 21% increase in tourists in 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013.
Key development Priorities and opportunities
The Ministry of Tourism has identified a number of priorities for private investment and public-private partnerships in tourist destinations. Opportunities exist in various regions of the country and include:
- Construction of an intimate (40-100 rooms) beachfront hotel and larger conference hotel (150 rooms) at the city’s pier in Jacmel, a unique historic destination with 700 meters of shoreline.
- Development of a US$ 266 million master plan for tourism in Côtes-de-Fer, involving construction of hotels, condos, an international airport, and an 18-hole golf course in the 3000 hectare area with 26 kilometers of sand beaches.
- Construction and operation of a marina, golf course and airport on Île-à-Vache, a 3.2 kilometer-wide and 15 kilometer-long island with more than 20 beaches, mangrove forests and interior mountains.
To support these projects, the government is providing sector-specific incentives and is also building and enhancing the human resources and physical infrastructure that will enhance the tourism experience and facilitate private investment: Tourists landing in Port-au-Prince, for example, now arrive at a refurbished airport terminal with a fleet of new tourist taxis; an airport and a port are being constructed in Île-à-Vache; main access roads in tourism clusters are being improved and constructed; US$ 20 million is being invested in improvements to the UNESCO city of Jacmel; additional police have been hired for tourist zones; and the government is establishing hospitality-training centers in the country’s tourism development regions.
Investment Successes: Showcasing Haitian Hospitality
Operating in Haiti since 2002, Port Morgan, S.A., is a high-quality resort in southern Haiti’s Île-à-Vache. When the resort first opened, Village Touristique Morgan S.A had only eight rooms. Today, the resort has 23 rooms with an investment of nearly US$ 2.8 million in a joint venture that is 35 percent Haitian-owned. The company has created 440 direct and indirect jobs. The company also provides assistance to small local organizations on Île-à-Vache by supporting reforestation projects.
How can CFI assist you?
- The CFI actively supports investors during all stages of their investment decision-making process. Its dedicated, skilled and professional staff is available to deliver specialized services including:
- Supplying general and customized reports on investment opportunities in Haiti, as well as information relating to the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks and processes
- Facilitating visits to Haiti by potential investors and arranging suitable meetings, including with government agencies and organizations in Haiti that could support the investment process
- Facilitating identification of suitable sites for a proposed investment project
- Helping to ensure smooth entry and establishment of an investment project, through the provision of information and assistance with acquiring permits and licenses, as well as with business registration processes
- Providing information on relevant Haiti-based consulting services and suppliers
- Offering aftercare services to established investors to support a smooth business operating environment as well reinvestment and development plans in Haiti
- Supporting investors seeking to benefit from Haiti’s fiscal incentives regime.