Media Center

Press Release


  February 9, 2007

The Organization of American States (OAS), in response to a request from the government of Haiti, has pledged to help that country update its tourism master plan to spur economic development and opportunity. Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin discussed these and related issues during a meeting with Haiti’s Minister of Tourism, Patrick Delatour, at OAS headquarters in Washington.

“Haiti provides a unique tourism product in terms of the culture, the history and the physical landscape,” the Assistant Secretary General observed. “Through tourism, we can assist Haiti in the critical objectives of lifting the people out of poverty—providing jobs, creating employment and income.”

Ambassador Ramdin assured Minister Delatour that the Organization will explore possible efforts to assist tourism development in Labadie and to look at further development of the tourism potential of Cap Haitien and the Citadel.

Ramdin said assisting the country’s tourism can help expand the debate on Haiti beyond political issues to a discussion of how to assist the country’s social and economic development. He suggested that Haiti’s tourism could benefit from the high-level Haiti Trade and Investment Forum the OAS is coordinating in Haiti in early May. He also noted that a tourism conference is set for later in the year, at OAS headquarters in Washington

Minister Delatour expressed appreciation for the Organization’s longstanding and strong advocacy for his country’s tourism development based on the wealth of Haitian culture, music, architecture and other elements. The Caribbean people understand that the major competition in the tourism sector is not between countries in the Caribbean but between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean as a destination, he said.

The Haitian official expressed particular interest in Haiti being part of the effort to market the Caribbean as one tourism destination, stressing the strategic interest in a stable Haiti. He went on to note that tourism development must also recognize that the majority of tourists are cultural consumers and are interested in looking at joint destinations in the region.

Besides the assistance in updating the tourism master plan for the preservation of historical monuments and sites, OAS support would also focus on raising awareness among Haitians so they can better appreciate the importance of this effort.

Reference: E-040/07