Denis O'Brien at the Marriott Port-au-Prince opening: Second from left, the Digicel founder owns the $48 million hotel property that is managed by Marriott.
The Marriott Port-au-Prince, which officially opened its doors last week after a “soft” opening period of three months, is far more than just a symbol of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery. It’s a living, breathing, job-creating economic engine in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince that sorely needs exactly that: jobs, vitality and the promise of further development to come.
Truth be told, were it not for the adjacent Digicel corporate headquarters, the 12-story Marriott might have found a home elsewhere in Haiti’s capital. Or it may not have happened at all.
There’s a lot to love about the newest hotel to open in Haiti.
The Marriott Port-au-Prince is sophisticated and yet firmly connected to roots culture, with handcrafted Vévé flags and Croix-des-Bouquets crafted ironwork that adorn the public spaces and guest rooms. Even the drink menus at the swanky La Sirene Bar and Restaurant—now a choice meeting spot in the capital city— accentuate Ayiti.
Sen. Forry with President Michel Martelly: The two leaders met at a Port-au-Prince reception on June 18.
State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry returned to Haiti for the first time since she was a child last week. Forry and her husband, Reporter publisher and editor Bill Forry, traveled on JetBlue’s inaugural direct flight to Haiti from Boston last Wednesday after the senator participated in a ribbon cutting to mark the new service.
Following the four-hour and 15-minute flight, Haitian-American Dorcena Forry made a whirlwind series of appearances that included meetings with Haitian Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin, whom Forry hosted in Boston two weeks ago, to discuss boosting tourism trade between the two countries.
Constructive visit: Minister of Tourism Stephanie Villedrouin visited Senator Linda Dorcena Forry at the Massachusetts State House on June 3.Stephanie Villedrouin, Haiti’s dynamic Minister for Tourism and Creative Industries, made a stop in Boston this month to spread the good news about Haiti’s burgeoning travel and hospitality trade. Already buoyed by an 11 percent increase in tourist visits over the last year (2013-2014), Minister Villedrouin carried more good news to Haitian-American community leaders and media, many of whom turned out to a Brockton country club for an evening presentation on June 3.
“We are on the right path and all stars are aligned for Haiti to be successful in the tourism field,” Mrs. Villedrouin told the Reporter in an interview. “We’ve got a lot more diaspora coming back to Haiti and new people intrigued about Haiti.”
Villedrouin was joined in her visit by a team of Haitian hoteliers, including Charles Fombrun, owner of the popular Moulin Sur Mer Beach Resort in Montrouis and Christian Fombrun, Food and Beverages Director for Kinam Hotel on Pétion-Ville.
A nine-foot-tall statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the first such tribute to Douglass in Europe, was on exhibit in Boston last week and on display at the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill at an event aimed at building awareness for the monument and its ties to Boston, Ireland and Haiti.
Haiti’s cholera victims have taken another important step toward justice with respect to the deadly epidemic caused by the United Nations (UN). On May 27, the victims filed their legal brief in an appeal of an earlier court decision dismissing their claims against the UN. On June 3, eighty-six organizations and experts filed an additional six briefs supporting the victims’ appeal.
SANTO DOMINGO— Haitians and other non-citizens stood in long lines across the Dominican Republic on Monday in last-minute bids to secure legal residency, hurrying to beat a looming paperwork deadline along with the threat of possible quick deportation.
Lines snaked outside Interior Ministry offices as foreign residents, who are overwhelmingly from neighboring Haiti, sought to submit papers before a 7 p.m. Wednesday deadline. Many said they have had to spend all day and return multiple times after being told they lacked sufficient documentation to complete the applications.
DENVER (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that if his wife is elected president he will stop giving paid speeches and, if she asks, step down from the foundation that bears his name and has fueled attacks against her during her nascent campaign.
The Clintons have been criticized for raking in millions of dollars from paid speeches since they left government service, as well as for letting foreign countries and companies with interests before Hillary Clinton's State Department give money to their foundation.
PORT-AU-PRINCE— Haiti's electoral council has released a final list of presidential candidates allowed to participate in the upcoming general elections.
Officials released the list of 58 names on Friday after rejecting 13 candidates.
Excluded from the list is former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. A judicial panel previously ruled that he failed to receive a government document certifying that he handled public funds appropriately while prime minister from 2012 until late 2014.