Haiti: The Last Hope

Could tourism save Haiti?

Haiti: The Last Hope Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, suffering everything from devastating natural disasters to brutal dictatorships. Now, there are hopes that tourism could help it rise from the ashes.
“In the 60s, we were number one in tourism for this part of the world”, says Fritz Parets. “And then, it collapsed...” Parets is at the helm of a bold new venture: a 55-bedroom luxury hotel, part of a scheme to put the nation back on the touristic map. Staff are professionally trained and almost all Haitian. “I live thanks to tourism”, says plumber Islet Jean-François. “It really makes life better here! When tourists stop coming, everything collapses.” Yet Haiti remains impoverished. Years of intensive farming have exhausted the country’s soils, and education is chronically underfunded. Despite the nation’s problems, hotel group boss Charles Fombrun is proud of its rich history. “It’s the first black republic… We were at the base of the end of colonialism, the slave’s revolution. Independence!”

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