The Haiti Tourism Association is hoping the arrival of Oasis of the Seas, which launches in December, coupled with the US$55 million Royal has spent on Labadee, spells a new beginning for Haiti tourism. Apparently it’s all because there is now a pier at Labadee, so cruise passengers no longer have to tender ashore in small boats.
As an aside, that’s something of a relief given there will be 5,400-plus passengers to get ashore from Oasis of the Seas. Using a tender, the last ones would arrive just as it was time to leave!
How likely is it that Americans will go touring in Haiti, the poorest and most troubled country in the Caribbean, given the following advisory from the US State Department:
“….warns its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling to Haiti. While the overall security situation has improved, political tensions remain, and the potential for politically-motivated violence persists.”
Until September, it was advising against all non-essential travel to the country.
This is what the UK Foreign Office says:
“We advise travelers to exercise a high degree of caution while traveling in Haiti because of the threat to personal security. Although the overall security situation has improved … political tensions remain, and there are still incidences of violence and kidnappings for ransom.”
With travel advisories like these, Haiti may need more than a new pier – or even a visit to Labadee from former US president Bill Clinton, the UN’s special envoy to Haiti – to kick-start it’s tourism industry.