More than 700,000 visitors a year come to Labadee, Haiti’s largest tourist destination. Passengers from Royal Caribbean cruise ships have enjoyed the beautiful north coast site with its bay, beaches, and amenities since 1985 when it was developed for the company’s use under a lease agreement with the Haitian government. Although Labadee has created many permanent jobs for those that manage and support the industry, converting such tourist sites into an important source of revenue for local residents is often a larger challenge.
USAID/HIFIVE* has responded by working to reposition Labadee’s handicraft market. In collaboration with local partners, the Federation of Merchants and Artisans of Labadee (FAML), the Tourism Association of the North (ATH-Nord), and Caisse Populaire de la Fraternité (CPF), a vibrant local credit union, HIFIVE has used local solutions and a holistic approach to address the multifaceted problem.