Reported by Liku Zelleke
In a nation that is still trying to rebuild its economy, its first internationally branded hotel, the Marriott Port-au-Prince, will be an encouraging icon of hope for Haitian citizens. The project was made possible by the philanthropic partnership the hospitality company struck with The Clinton Foundation and the leading service provider, Digicel Group.
The government of Haiti, along with supporters from outside the country, has identified three key industries they think will be best to help the country’s economy stabilize and grow; these are tourism, agriculture and light manufacturing.
The opening of the new hotel with 175 rooms will create an employment opportunity for 200 Haitians, as it will be staffed by a 96 percent Haitian workforce. The hotel has already implemented an extensive training program where staff will learn English and service principles.
Apart from the direct employment opportunity, the project will contribute indirectly to the nation by working with local farmer co-operatives to source its herbs and produce. It will also support a local women’s business by contracting them for its bathroom soap and shampoo stock fulfillment. Coffee will come from local farmers, a move that is considerable since the hotel usually gets its stock from its own Marriott Starbucks.
Apart from all this, the property of the hotel will exhibit Haitian art, something that will help to promote the local talent.
It is hoped that with the opening of this hotel in the newly emerging Port-au-Prince commercial district, it will be a beacon that will attract commerce and tourism and lead the way to Haiti’s recovery from its recent tragedies.