Haiti’s tourism officials would like to expose the country’s northern region and attractions to more visitors, including the cruise passengers who disembark at Labadee, which has been Royal Caribbean’s private resort since 1986.
Tourist-oriented Labadee, on the tip of a peninsula on the north coast, has much to offer, with vendors who are licensed to sell crafts, watersports, a water-oriented playground and a zipline plus several beaches.
On July 23, a tourism delegation, headed by Dieudonne Luma, director of tourism for Haiti’s northern region, welcomed the captain and 14 crew members from the Oasis of the Seas who ventured off Labadee to explore Haiti’s National Historical Park, which includes the mountaintop fortress Citadelle, the buildings at Ramiers and the Palace of Sans Souci. In 1982 the park was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List, the only site in Haiti yet to receive the distinction.
“The crew members openly expressed a great appreciation for the site, for their experience at the site and for the discovery of another component of our tourist offerings,” Luma said.
Patrik Dahlgren, captain of the Oasis, said that of all the sites he had visited in the Caribbean, “there is no place like the Citadelle,” according to Luma.
Two new welcome centers recently opened at the palace and at Choiseul, where the pathway to the Citadelle begins.
“We are working hard here to make our visitors welcome, the sites accessible and to integrate the villagers in tourist activities,” Luma said.