Sunrise Airways, Haiti’s newest homegrown airline, and the Haiti Ministry of Tourism recently announced they have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost tourism arrivals to Haiti.
Under terms of the MOU, Sunrise Airways and the Ministry of Tourism will work in close collaboration to host familiarization trips to Haiti undertaken by international travel journalists, agents, business development partners and other interested parties keen on promoting or investing in the country’s tourism industry.
“Tourism is already an important part of our improving economy, but the potential exists now more than ever for Haiti to stand up and be counted among the leading leisure travel destinations in the Caribbean," said Philippe Bayard, president of Sunrise Airways, in written release. "Haiti is most certainly open for tourism business. We at Sunrise Airways are excited to take an active role in proving just that to the world.”
New hotel construction and redevelopment programs have combined with airport expansion initiatives, new hospitality education and training programs, the advent of a dedicated tourism police force, and the opening of several new visitor attraction centers at key historical sites to revitalize Haiti’s tourism industry. All told, current tourism sector investment by the Government of Haiti and foreign investors exceeds $258 million.
“Just as we’ve built tremendous momentum in growing Haiti’s tourism sector in recent months, so too has Sunrise Airways made great strides in elevating our aviation sector, opening up new markets in neighboring countries and earning raves with their professional service and staunch commitment to safety," said Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin, Haiti’s minister of tourism. "We couldn’t be happier than to partner with them to continue moving Haiti forward.”
Sunrise Airways launched scheduled passenger service on December 20, 2012 with one domestic route operating between Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien. From there, the airline expanded overseas, launching its first international route to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos in August 2013. Additional international routes to Holguín, Cuba and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic soon followed in October and November, respectively.
In addition to inaugurating new routes across the Western Caribbean in 2013, Sunrise Airways also achieved several significant corporate milestones underscoring the airline’s commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. Most notably, in July 2013 Sunrise Airways became the first-ever Haitian airline to join the Flight Safety Foundation, an international non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to provide impartial, independent, expert safety guidance and resources for the aviation and aerospace industry.