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Marriott to open first hotel in Haiti

Posted by Melanie Nayer  December 1, 2011 09:10 AM

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marriott-haiti.jpgMarriott International announced Monday it will open its first hotel in Haiti in 2014, a move that brings more jobs and tourism opportunity to Port-au-Prince.

The $45 million, 173-room Port-au-Prince Marriott Hotel will be located in the southern part of the country in the Haute Turgeau area of the city. The hotel will also include a casual restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge and 24-hour room service.  The hotel will include about 4,606 square feet of meeting space, a 1,614-square-foot fitness center, and a swimming pool and sundries shop/marketplace.

Haiti has historically been one of the Caribbean's most economically successful destinations, and while the 2010 earthquake shook up the industry and displaced thousands of Haiti residents, the hospitality industry is set on ensuring Haiti regains its place as a top tourist destination. Earlier this year, non-profit group Yéle Haiti created a hospitality pilot-program that educates local Haitians on specific areas of the hotel business, including housekeeping, concierge and front desk responsibilities. As more hotels make their way back to Haiti and the Port-au-Prince area, the possibility for jobs expands and the local economy readies for a rebound.

Marriott has been intimately involved in the rebuilding efforts of the area since the earthquake. The Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., which has approximately 250 Haitian associates, worked on two relief missions to Haiti delivering clothing, food and water and toiletries, and helped rebuild homes, orphanages, and schools. Associates of Marriott's South Florida hotels have raised $200,000 to support recovery efforts and in 2010, the J. Willard and Alice Marriott Foundation contributed $500,000 to the Red Cross for immediate earthquake relief and resettlement efforts. In addition to creating 175 new jobs at this hotel, Marriott will invest in hospitality training to benefit Haiti's tourism sector. 

The announcement of the new hotel was made in Haiti during a ceremony with former President Bill Clinton and Marriott International president Arne Sorenson. The Clinton Foundation has worked closely with Marriott and Digicel Group to develop this project.

“This new hotel project will stand as a symbol of Haiti’s recovery, providing much needed jobs to the Haitian people and encouraging foreigners to visit, invest and work in Port-au-Prince," said President Clinton in a press release.

Digicel Group is responsible for designing and building the hotel, which will break ground in 2012 with an expected opening in mid-2014.

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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