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Three years after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed it, the island nation of Haiti
is celebrating a major milestone in its rebuilding effort: Last week, Marriott International broke ground on a $45 million, 175-room Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand hotel in the Turgeau area of Port-au-Prince. Opening in early 2015, the property will be the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti.
"We're delighted to be helping to bring the world-leading Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand to Haiti," said Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, the company that is designing and building the hotel for Marriott. "Not only will this be a solution to the lodging issues in the city, it will also create jobs, attract foreign visitors and communicate a positive outlook for the future of Haiti. Haiti is a great place to invest and do business and I encourage others to take a look at the opportunities here."
According to Marriott, the new hotel will cater to the growing number of business travelers coming to Haiti. Featuring "the most up-to-date [meeting] facilities in the city," it will have a ballroom for up to 500 people, five suites, a casual restaurant with a private dining area, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a gift shop, WiFi and secure parking.
"We saw the need for a leading hotel brand in Haiti to accommodate the wave of travelers coming to do business in the country," said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International. "We believe we can make a difference in Haiti by creating jobs and developing the human talent that can help lift this country over time back to its rightful place as one of the top destinations in the Caribbean. We are working with the Ministers of Tourism and Vocational Education on how we can support existing institutions to raise the quality of hospitality training."
Added Prime Minister of Haiti Laurent Lamothe, "The presence of the world-leading Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand in Haiti is another clear indicator that Haiti is serious about attracting foreign direct investment. I would like to commend both Marriott International and Digicel Group on their tireless commitment to Haiti and on making their vision a reality. This is a huge vote of confidence in the future of Haiti and I look forward to the Marriott Hotel Port au Prince opening its doors in 2015."