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28587: Labrom report on Tourism Summit in Miami (fwd)
From Jacqui Labrom
I thought you all might be interested in reading a Haitian friend of mine's
report on the Tourism summit. He lives in Miami and is involved peripherally
"Regarding the summit, I must admit that it was the biggest Haitian event I?ve
ever attended since living in Miami. It was very well organized and the panel
of key note speaker was great. We heard the hard truth of the dying Haiti
Tourism industry from Patrick Delatour, we heard the hard truth of the
insecurity problems from Gessie Coicou; we heard the hard truth of lack of
trained human resources from the hotel owners. I was encouraged by the fact
the delegation from Haiti (Private and Public Sector) now understands that the
Haitian Diaspora is the key for the revival of tourism in Haiti. In my views,
the objective of this summit was to solicit us in the Diaspora to come home to
visit and tour the country rather than just come to spend time with family and
that the hotel industry will recognize us as true visitors and give us the
service that we deserve. The government through its delegation came to
solicit us to come home and invest in the new Haiti, they promised that they
will have infrastructure in place to protect our investment, they promised
that they will no longer label us ?Diaspora? as the word has been used in the
past to separate us from Haitians living in Haiti.
They recognize and appreciate our participation in the economy of Haiti; our
1.4 billion of dollars that we send every year through money transfer
agencies, represents 25% of the country GNP; they recognize as mentioned by
Patrick Delatour that the brain of Haiti lives outside of the country and now
it?s time that they pave the way for the Diaspora to play a key role in the re-
development of the country. The senate president promised to work with his
colleagues in the senate on the dual citizenship. So many people spoke, so
many ideas were discussed and I am praying to God that there will be serious
It was a great weekend for networking. I met a lot of great folks from Haiti
and around the US and Canada. Each came with great ideas and for the first
time we all had true and honest discussions. You have been in Haiti long
enough to know that we are great in having good discussions, but always fail
in implementing serious actions. I hope this time this group of intelligent
people will put their personal differences aside and work for the common goal
to give Haiti a chance."
End of report.
The only other comment I had was from the new American Ambassador, Janet
Sanderson who in reply to my question as to 'how did the Tourism summit go'
replied, "well I think they had an over optimistic view of security"!!
I was very tempted to say, 'well the American govt. representatives always
have an over pessimistic view of security'!!