|Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas calls at Labadee, Haiti.|
In 2010, Haiti’s tourism industry was poised to make a big splash in the Caribbean with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of tourism investments so close to coming to fruition. Of course, that all changed in early January of that year when a massive earthquake pulverized the destination and toppled all hope that tourism would soon be a main revenue stream for a country that desperately needed it.
In the two years since, although there is still a mountain of infrastructure work that needs to be repaired in earthquake-crippled Haiti, it appears as though enough has been done to make tourism at least a mid-level priority once again. Travel Agent breaks down some of the most recent tourism developments to come out of Haiti so agents can be prepared to sell it effectively when the Haiti rush hits the U.S.
Occidental Hotels and Resorts opened the Royal Oasis by Occidental in Haiti earlier this year. Occidental Vacation Club, a division of the hotel group, will be an important component that allows club participants to visit yet another destination included in their membership.
The property is sprawled over three acres in the heart of Petion-Ville, formerly an upscale residential suburb which has now gradually evolved to become Haiti’s most important business and commercial hub. Located in one of the area’s safest and most desirable neighborhoods, the Royal Oasis is earthquake resistant and hurricane proof. The largest hotel in Haiti features crisp and modern design in its 128 luxurious rooms and is just a 30-minute drive from Port-au-Prince International Airport.
In addition to the contemporary accommodations, the hotel offers five bars and restaurants where guests may experience an extraordinary selection of local and international cocktails and menus to please the most discerning palates. Grand Level Occidental Members will enjoy the exclusivity of the Lounge Club Royal, which offers fine dining in a private and superior style.
All Occidental Vacation Club holidays include unlimited meals and snacks, à la carte dining in specialty restaurants including unlimited alcoholic beverages, sports (including tennis on a lighted court, water polo, aqua aerobics, and kayaking), use of the fitness center and more. Daily entertainment and a supervised Kids Club (ages four to 12) are also part of the package where available on site, as well as nightly shows and live entertainment and all taxes and gratuities.
Agents should reach out to General Manager Jean Marc Rousseau ([email protected], 011-509-4890-4932) for more information.
Also in earlier January, Digicel and Marriott International broke ground on the $45 million 175-room Marriott Hotels & Resorts (www.marriott.com) hotel in the Turgeauarea of Port-au-Prince, with an opening expected in early 2015, making it the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti.
Digicel Group is responsible for designing and building the hotel and chose the signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand as its operating partner under a long-term management agreement. In addition to creating more than 200 new hospitality jobs in Haiti, Marriott will invest in workforce training to benefit the country’s tourism sector.
|The Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince will have 175 rooms when it opens in 2015.|
The 175-room Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince aims to set a new standard of excellence for the growing number of business travelers coming to Haiti. It will be especially suitable for business meetings, conferences and events and will have the most up-to-date facilities in the city. The ballroom will comfortably accommodate around 380 people for dining and around 500 theater-style.
The hotel will include five suites, a casual restaurant with private dining area, a bar and lounge, fitness center, swimming pool, gift shop and market-place, and will offer guests 24-hour room service, Wi-Fi and secure parking. Marriott will also use the Port-au-Prince location as a center for hotel training for local staff.
Last May, Aimbridge Hospitality (www.aimbridgehospitality.com) announced that it had been chosen to manage the new Best Western Premier Petion-Ville Hotel. The seven-story, 106-room hotel is scheduled to open February 14. It will feature 2,000 square feet of meeting and event space to cater to business travelers. In addition to a full-service restaurant and room service, the hotel will have doormen with black tophats and tails to greet guests, 40-inch flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet in each guest room, a gym and a spa located on the property. There will also be a Presidential Suite and two Governors Suites.
A longtime favorite port of call for guests sailing on select Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, Royal Caribbean International’s private beach destination of Labadee, Haiti, now offers extensive new infrastructure enhancements and amenities for your clients.
This multi-year development project was completed in time to welcome Royal Caribbean’s newest and most innovative cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, on the ship’s December 1, 2009, special voyage to Haiti. Refurbishments at the exclusive island destination located on the north coast of Haiti began in the summer of 2007 as a joint venture between the Haitian government and Royal Caribbean International.
Oasis of the Seas began calling at Labadee in late 2009. Since then, most of Royal Caribbean’s ships deployed in the Caribbean call there as well.
Agents should direct any queries to their local Royal Caribbean business development manager, who can be reached by calling 800-327-2056. They can also reach out to SVP, Sales and Trade Support & Services Vicki Freed via Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VickiLovesTravelAgents.
|Les Terrases is a serene public area at the new Royal Oasis by Occidental.|