As a massive earthquake razed buildings and killed thousands throughout Haiti in January 2010, the shockwaves took much of the Caribbean country’s infrastructure with them — including hotel rooms. Foreign aid and investments continue to help rebuild Haiti, but even something as simple as a dearth of hotel rooms has made relief that much more difficult. But thanks to Marriott International, volunteers and tourists will find a luxurious new place to stay in 2014.
The hotel group has announced an agreement to open a $45 million hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The 173-room hotel in Haiti’s capital will add to the approximately 500 rooms the city already has, along with offering meeting space and other amenities that will help humanitarian organizations, business travelers and tourists. The plans include a full-service hotel with a casual restaurant, a bar and lounge, a gym and swimming pool. Construction is expected to begin in 2012, with the hotel set to open in mid-2014.
In addition to creating 175 jobs at the Port-au-Prince hotel, Marriott will invest in hospitality training, furthering its investment in Haiti. The hotel will be designed and built by Digicel Group, with Marriott Resorts & Hotels as the operating partner. The two companies worked closely with the Clinton Foundation, led by former president Bill Clinton, in planning the construction and interacting with the Haitian government. “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.
Prior to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010, Haiti’s tourism sector had experienced growth in recent years, and 59 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product comes from the service industry. The Port-au-Prince Marriott will be located in the Haute Turgeau section of Haiti’s capital, and will be the largest hotel in the entire country upon completion.
Photos courtesy of DigicelGroup and Jean Jacques Augustin