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In Brief | Tourism Decline on « Côte des Arcadins »


The area is home to several major investments that are no longer operational

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On the Côte des Arcadins located in the commune of Montrouis, in the department of l’Artibonite, numerous resorts, restaurants, and other attractions are at a standstill or are completely closed.

Less than an hour away from the Toussaint Louverture Airport, this coastal area is one of the country’s most attractive tourist destinations. It is also home to prominent sites such as the Royal Decameron Indigo, Wahoo Bay Beach Club, Moulin Sur Mer, and Kaliko Beach Club.

All of these businesses are experiencing a drastic decline in customers, facing difficulties in obtaining essential products and fuel, as well as direct attacks from armed gangs, and other challenges.

On the Côte des Arcadins […] numerous resorts, restaurants, and other attractions are at a standstill or are completely closed.

The vast Royal Decameron Indigo resort, which opened its doors with 400 rooms in 2016 after an investment of over fifteen million US dollars, now stands devoid of its customers. « Since September 2022, we have been unable to operate. The fact is that we are not receiving any guests, but we are not officially closed either, » said a customer service representative who preferred to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.

A view of the vast © Royal Decameron Indigo

Currently, armed groups are preventing passage at Canaan, which is one of the main obstacles to accessing the north of the country by car. Since 2017, the blockade of areas such as Cabaret, Arcahaie and Montrouis has greatly affected the local tourism sector.

Lire aussi : Pour ne pas mourir de soif, des prisonnières à Cabaret boient l’eau de la douche

Moulin Sur Mer, described as one of the flagship destinations on the coast, « with idyllic sunsets and a warm tropical atmosphere, » is similarly almost at a standstill.

An aerial view of © Moulin Sur Mer

« Since [September], we have been recording a monthly occupancy rate of less than 20% of our hotel’s capacity. This does not allow us to cover fixed costs, which means we are operating at a loss, » says Ricardo Étienne, director of the Moulin Sur Mer tourist resort. However, he adds that the hotel remains open to preserve its status as a national heritage site.

Furthermore, Moulin Sur Mer targets a local clientele from areas such as Arcahaie, Saint-Marc, etc.

The overall context of insecurity increasingly undermines activities along the Arcadins coastline.

On March 11, 2023, « Sumfest, » one of the major cultural events typically hosted on the Coast since 2020, announced that its 5th edition would be held in Florida this year, in the United States. This news illustrates the challenging situation in the area.

The overall context of insecurity increasingly undermines activities along the Arcadins coastline.

On the night of March 15 to 16, 2023, Wahoo Bay Beach confirmed that a group of armed individuals attacked and vandalized their facility. « We suffered significant material damage. Fortunately, our staff is safe, » reads a note posted on the company’s Instagram account on Monday, March 20, 2023.

Jean Roger Dorsainvil, owner of a tourist agency called « Touris Lakay Ayiti, » laments an ongoing loss of opportunities. « In 2017, a group of French tourists was stranded at Toussaint Louverture Airport, and unfortunately had to return to France. They told us they would never come back to Haiti. »

Beyond the overall climate of insecurity, the weight of a land dispute between the Piatre family and the Boniface family is contributing to an escalating number of violent episodes in the area.

« The genesis of this conflict dates back to March 12, 1990, » recounts Juste Richethere, a prominent figure in Cadenette. Around ten people were killed, and over a hundred houses were burned in this case, which involved over 318 acres of land, estimates the man, well acquainted with the events.

The details and implications of the dispute remain unclear. According to Michèle Oriol, Executive Secretary of the Interministerial Committee for Territorial Planning (CIAT), « it is in no way possible to have a land conflict over coastal areas since they belong to the State. »

The details and implications of the dispute remain unclear.

Nevertheless, the outbreaks of violence are affecting the security climate and paralyzing economic activities.

Lire aussi : L’insécurité met la petite industrie des fruits de mer à genoux

Small restaurants, bars, and fishmongers are also affected. This is the case for Marie Humaine, the owner of « Mèmène Restaurant » in Montrouis. « Our restaurant has been closed since September 2022 because there are no customers to buy the food. The cost of ingredients is also ever increasing, » she added.

By Jérôme Wendy Norestyl

English translation by Sarah Jean.

© Cover image : tumblr

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Journaliste-rédacteur à AyiboPost, Jérôme Wendy Norestyl fait des études en linguistique. Il est fasciné par l’univers multimédia, la photographie et le journalisme.