Haiti Tourism Officials Target Central Florida Ex-Pats as Potential Investors, Tourists
During a visit to Orlando this week, Haiti’s tourism minister Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin said the island’s infrastructure is slowly improving with help from foreign investors. However, she wants to encourage Haitians who grew up in America to visit the island and consider opening non-profit organizations and businesses.
Second generation Haitian youth and professionals, she believes, are a critical mass that can rebuilt the economy as tourists and potential investors.
“They’re willing to learn about the country. They were born here, so I really think it’s important for them to return to their roots, so that’s our target market in the tourism sector," she said.
Many Haitian expatriates have been helping to rebuild the economy after the earthquake. Villedrouin said they have had the most impact in rural towns.
Haitian officials said direct flights between Orlando and Haiti will make travel easier for ex-pats. Villedrouin is working to get Jet Blue airlines to charter the flights.