“I’m moving to Haiti in two years,” said Kelly, my massage therapist at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. “I volunteered down there and help support ten orphans. Marriott is building a new hotel in Haiti and I’m going to work there.”
Not only was I lucky to have Kelly, a registered nurse and physical therapist, be my massage therapist for the afternoon, as she seemingly pulled my aching shoulder back in place, I was really happy to hear what she and Marriott have been doing to help out earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
New Marriott Hotel Coming to Haiti
Just last month, Digicel, the telecommunications giant, and Marriott International broke ground on a $45 million hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that is to open in early 2015.
The 175-room hotel is a milestone for both companies: it is Marriott’s first in Haiti and Digicel’s first foray into tourism. Since the 2010 earthquake, Digicel,the country’s largest employer, has spearheaded efforts to attract foreign investors. After realizing that there was a shortage of suitable accommodations for them, the company reached out to Marriott to build a business travelers’ hotel with conference rooms and a ballroom that can seat 380 people.
“We saw the need for a leading hotel brand in Haiti to accommodate the wave of travelers coming to do business in the country,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer at Marriott International in a release. “We believe we can make a difference in Haiti by creating jobs and developing the human talent that can help lift this country over time back to its rightful place as one of the top destinations in the Caribbean. We are working with the Ministers of Tourism and Vocational Education on how we can support existing institutions to raise the quality of hospitality training.”
Marriott has pledged to invest in hospitality training that should benefit Haiti’s tourism sector. They expect the full-service hotel will thrive as Haiti rebuilds from the devastating 2010 earthquake that officials say killed about 300,000 people.
In a news release, Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, said, “The presence of the world-leading Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand in Haiti is another clear indicator that Haiti is serious about attracting foreign direct investment. This is a huge vote of confidence in the future of Haiti and I look forward to the Marriott Hotel Port au Prince opening its doors in 2015.”
This will be the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti. The Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince will include five suites, a casual restaurant with private dining area, fitness center, swimming pool and a great room lobby.