Above: UNWTO SG Taleb Rifai, Haiti Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin and Haiti President Michel Martelly
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti and the UN’s World Tourism Organization have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two sides.
The ceremony took place as part of an event marking UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai’s visit to the country this week.
Haiti President Michel Martelly joined an Open Letter to the World Tourism Organization and the World Council of Tourism and Travels that is part of an awareness campaign seeking to improve the position of tourism in the global conversation.
“As part of this ongoing campaign, we would like to invite Michel Martelly, President of Haiti, to join other world leaders, as well as the UNWTO and WTTC and to be heard at our side to participate in our efforts to include travel and tourism among the major global priorities,” Rifai said.
The memorandum, which was signed by Haiti Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin, covers areas of mutual interest including a national strategic plan for tourism development, a campaign to raise awareness among the local population, a plan for tourism legislation, the development of skills and tools for the hospitality sector and a green energy programme for hotels in Haiti.
“When it comes to tourism, the potential of [Haiti] is incredibly clear,” Rifai said this week.
Rifai described Haiti as the “new caribbean,” one that “invites you to experience [it,” echoing the Ministry of Tourism’s new campaign.