Above: Haiti (Photo: MT Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti is reporting a significant increase in tourist arrivals, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The country welcomed 299,646 stopover arrivals in the first nine months of 2013, a 17.9 percent year-over-year increase compared to the same period in 2012.
The data did not include a breakdown of travelers’ geographic origin, or a business/leisure breakdown.
Those numbers do not include cruise stopovers. On the cruise tourism side, Haiti saw a 5.5 percent increase in cruise visitors from January to December, with a total of 643,634, up from a reported 609,930 in 2012.
That was buoyed by particularly strong growth in the summer months, which saw a 23.9 percent improvement in stopover numbers.
If the improvement held up over the last three months of 2013, Haiti’s growth would be the largest in the region of any country with more than 100,000 visitors.
Haiti’s strongest month in the period was July, when it welcomed 48,856 visitors, a 51.1 percent increase over July 2012.
The CTO said tourism arrival data is supplied by member countries.
Stopover arrivals to Haiti peaked at 387,000 in 2009, dropping to 255,000 in 2010 following the earthquake before rebounding to 349,000, according to the World Bank.
While Haiti’s tourism sector is very much in the developmental stages, the country has seen a crop of new-construction hotels, including the Best Western Premier Haiti and the Royal Oasis by Occidental, among others.