Above: a rendering of Marriott’s Haiti hotel project
By Alexander Britell
Marriott and Digicel broke ground on their new Haiti hotel project Wednesday morning.
The 175-room hotel is a partnership between the hotel company and the telecom giant.
“We saw the need for a leading hotel brand in Haiti to accommodate the wave of travelers coming to do business in the country,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer at Marriott International, in a release. “We believe we can make a difference in Haiti by creating jobs and developing the human talent that can help lift this country over time back to its rightful place as one of the top destinations in the Caribbean.”
The hotel will be located in the Turgeau area of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Digicel is responsible for the design and construction of, with Marriott acting as operating partner under a long-term contract.
Kier has been selected as the contractor for the project. Turgeau Developments SA is the operating company in which Digicel is the investment partner.
“The presence of the world-leading Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand in Haiti is another clear indicator that Haiti is serious about attracting foreign direct investment,” Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said in a statement. “I would like to commend both Marriott International and Digicel Group on their tireless commitment to Haiti and on making their vision a reality. This is a huge vote of confidence in the future of Haiti.”
The hotel will also include five suites, a casual restaurant with private dining area, a fitness centre, a swimming pool and a great room lobby.
The Ministry of Tourism said the hotel would eventually lead to the creation of more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Sorenson said Marriott is working with Haiti’s Ministers of Tourism and Vocational Education to develop ways to support existing institutions to raise the quality of Haiti’s hospitality training.
“We’re delighted to be helping to bring the world-leading Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand to Haiti,” said Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien. “Not only will this be a solution to the lodging issues in the city, it will also create jobs, attract foreign visitors and communicate a positive outlook for the future of Haiti. Haiti is a great place to invest and do business and I encourage others to take a look at the opportunities here.”
The project, which is slated to cost $45 million, was first announced at the end of 2011.
It is scheduled to open in early 2015.