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Thread: Many lessons here for the DR

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    What exactly is the "lesson?"

    Haiti's tourism industry was destroyed by the aids epidemic and the CNNs of the world making sure every living soul knew about it. Then in the end it turn out to be false, a huge lie, not true. Somehow the CNNs of the world didn't found it worthy to launch an apology to Haiti for destroying their tourism industry and putting in place a campaign to undo the negative image they had already created.

    Having said that, I personally think the tourism industry that once existed in Haiti is grossly exaggerated.

    While it was a 'hot spot' in those times, at its peak in 1980 the country received 139,000 tourists by air and 163,000 by sea; for a total of 302,000. Net expenditures on tourism reached their peak in 1981 at a bare US$44 million (roughly US$103 million in 2009 dollars). The number of hotel rooms registered in the country was also at its peak in 1981 at only 3,000 rooms. (Haiti Tourism)

    The Dominican tourism industry is a completely different animal. In 2009, the Dominican Republic received almost 4 million tourists (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...t3Lattab09.pdf).

    In even greater detail are the stats for 2007:

    3.8 million visitors.
    89% stayed in hotels/resorts.
    95% visited for leisure.
    Almost 65,000 rooms.
    Total expenditure of almost US$3.8 billion.
    (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...untryStats.pdf)

    Focusing back on Haiti; in 2007 Haitian tourism was as follows:

    386,060 visitors by air + 482,077 visitors by sea = 868,137
    1,758 rooms
    37% of visitors by air stayed at a hotel.
    31% " " " " " " visited for leisure.
    Total expenditure of US$54 million.
    (Go to page 69: http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...untryStats.pdf)

    As long as the CNN of the world don't get on an anti-Dominican streak, Dominican tourism has nothing to worry about; at least judging from what caused the collapse of Haitian tourism, the only tourist industry in the Americas to have collapsed in recent memory. The DR doesn't have a disease epidemic, a failed state, or complete idiots ruling the country (of course, there are plenty of idiots in government, but there are also plenty of non-idiots and its because of them that things continue to function).

    So I repeat the original question: What exactly is the "lesson?"

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    Default Lesson 1

    "One doesn’t have to look far to note that what was a stretch of virgin sand — Madiou is holding up an ’80s-era photograph against the horizon — is defiled now by concrete buildings mere steps from the water’s edge. “For me this is a paradise,” he says, staring at the snapshot. He raises his eyes to the newer reality: “That is very ugly.” There’s the usual tale of corruption and short-term thinking and serial local politicians with pocket-fattening agendas that don’t include, say, shoreline preservation. "


    You can't learn from what you don't read.

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    Default Lesson 2

    Tourism is complicated. “It’s easier to have a textile industry,” Buteau continues. Tourism demands non-stop electricity, water, roads, hospitals, security. But rather than seeing those gaping inadequacies as impediments, Buteau sees tourism as a driver to help force change. Environmental protectionism is in there, too. “Once you bring an economic value to something the people start protecting it rather than destroying it.” Unquestionably, a strong tourism sector is a cultural boost, something that Haiti deserves to benefit from.

    Actually, I disagree with the idea that tourism is a cultural boost, unless you like hearing "Feelings" sung with an accent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela View Post
    Actually, I disagree with the idea that tourism is a cultural boost, unless you like hearing "Feelings" sung with an accent.
    No, but it can and usually is an economic boost.I got a hoot out of listening to a bunch of Dominican teenagers singing Stand by me in English.

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    Default Not comparable

    Quote Originally Posted by NALs View Post
    Having said that, I personally think the tourism industry that once existed in Haiti is grossly exaggerated.

    While it was a 'hot spot' in those times, at its peak in 1980 the country received 139,000 tourists by air and 163,000 by sea; for a total of 302,000. Net expenditures on tourism reached their peak in 1981 at a bare US$44 million (roughly US$103 million in 2009 dollars). The number of hotel rooms registered in the country was also at its peak in 1981 at only 3,000 rooms. (Haiti Tourism)

    The Dominican tourism industry is a completely different animal. In 2009, the Dominican Republic received almost 4 million tourists (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...t3Lattab09.pdf).

    In even greater detail are the stats for 2007:

    3.8 million visitors.
    89% stayed in hotels/resorts.
    95% visited for leisure.
    Almost 65,000 rooms.
    Total expenditure of almost US$3.8 billion.
    (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...untryStats.pdf)
    Actually, it is not fair to compare Haiti's tourist in the 80's with the DR now. I don't know about the North America, but in the 80's, in Europe, it was a luxury to hop on a 8h flight to go on vacations. The Caribbean was out of reach for most Europeans. In fact, in France, the All-Inclusive concept was for the upper class at that times (example Club Med). So, Haiti had a much smaller market to start with. In that light, the numbers don't look that bad.

    On the other hand, now, since the mid-90's, everyone I know and their mother have been to Varadero (Cuba) or Punta Cana. The Caribbean is no longer that exotic destination for the European upper class as it used to be in the 80's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Africaida View Post
    Actually, it is not fair to compare Haiti's tourist in the 80's with the DR now. I don't know about the North America, but in the 80's, in Europe, it was a luxury to hop on a 8h flight to go on vacations. The Caribbean was out of reach for most Europeans. In fact, in France, the All-Inclusive concept was for the upper class at that times (example Club Med). So, Haiti had a much smaller market to start with. In that light, the numbers don't look that bad.

    On the other hand, now, since the mid-90's, everyone I know and their mother have been to Varadero (Cuba) or Punta Cana. The Caribbean is no longer that exotic destination for the European upper class as it used to be in the 80's.
    Most of Haiti's visitors has always hailed from the United States. In fact, in 1980 the sub-region received almost 6 million tourists, 68% from the United States. (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...1980to2004.pdf) BTW, notice how Haiti's numbers for that same time period amounts to only 5% of total Caribbean visitors.

    But let's use another factor as a proxy of a truly vibrant tourist industry.

    In 1980 Haiti had a total of 2,943 rooms.

    In that same year these were the total number of rooms in:

    Bahamas: 11,429
    Barbados: 6,680
    Bermuda: 4,710
    Jamacia: 10,092
    Guadeloupe (tourism always has been French dominated): 3,037
    Puerto Rico: 9,224
    US Virgin Islands: 4,834
    Cuba (Americans prohibited from visiting): 7,526

    Even Dominican Republic, with 3,800 rooms, surpassed the stock available in Haiti during its peak tourist year(s) (1980/81).

    (http://www.onecaribbean.org/content/...1990to2004.pdf)

    I repeat, Haiti's tourist industry has been exaggerated.

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