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Labadee, Haiti Is it too soon for a visit?

Photo from Melanie Stetson Freeman/Getty Images

Today on my way in to work I heard a story on NPR called "Royal Carribean Provides Tourists and Relief for Haiti" In a nutshell, the cruise ship has decided to continue its stop in Labadee, Haiti on the north coast of the island of Hispaniola. However this move has not gone without controversy. Some think that it is insensitive to have tourists visit the island for swimming and jet skiing while Haiti is still in crisis. The optimist in me thinks that Royal Carribbean may have good intentions because the ships are also bringing humanitarian aid to the region. What do you think? picture from Trip Advisor

Labadee has not been physically affected by the earthquake and Adam Goldstein, the CEO for Royal Caribbean felt it was a proper decision to make especially since he received the backing of the Haitian government. According to Goldstein, the Haitian government was open to the economic benefit that would come with the tourism as well as to the humanitarian relief that the ships would also bring to the port. " If you want to listen to the story click here. I don't usually talk politics on my blog, but I found this to be an interesting story. What are your thoughts?


Beach Vintage said...

Oh, thats a hard one. I guess any help is good help. I donated to "Doctors Without Borders", I wish I could do more.

Shorely Chic said...

I've been reading about this and thinking about it much of today. I guess I see both sides, I mean I couldn't imagine zip-lining followed by drinking pina coladas at the beach with any peace of mind knowing that there is unthinkable devastation 60 miles away. However, tourism is bringing money into the country so in that sense, yes. ahh i dont know about this one!


Go ahead Girlfriend...talk politics! So...if the ships are bringing pretty watermelons carved into flowers, well..then that's good right? (other than that, I think it's disgraceful..the passengers should have been asked to give up all of their clothes, shoes, extra buffet food, water, shampoo and so on.)

Cloudia said...

We here in Waikiki depend on visitors. If they stay away we would suffer....

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

I guess it would be much better for the Haitians if the passengers aboard the cruise ships that stop at Labadee would make pressure on the company so that the company change the itinerary and make a stop in another island ! Then, the Haitians that currently work at Labadee or sell goodies to the tourists would lost their job or revenue. That would be a good timing for them.
And maybe also, we should stop buying bananas coming from Haiti, because it would be taking the food out of their mouth ? and same thing for coffee ? and for how long should we do that, before we really help them daily through every opportunity to come back to normal life ?

Maya said...

If I had planned that trip, I'm not sure if I wanted to still go -probably not.

Joyce said...

I heard bits n pieces on the news about this, but not enough to give my opinion. A good question to ask though. xo

Shellbelle said...

This is quite a dilemma and an excellent question. I remember hearing much the same thing after the 2004 Tsunami.

Here in Florida we depend on tourism and when something causes it to slow down, it hurts our local economy tremendously. Haiti has already suffered such horrific losses and wouldn't this just make it worse?

With that said, I see others have ask how can anyone really go and enjoy themselves with so much tragedy close by. Sixty miles, six hundred miles, even six thousand miles, distance doesn't really matter. I'm seven hundred miles away and its difficult to really enjoy anything. But the tourists bring a sense of normalcy and routine to those whose lives have been changed forever.

I remember after the Northridge Earthquake (I was in CA then), which is by no means a close comparison, but people who lost their homes or suffered major damage would come to the little cafe I managed and say it was the one normal thing they could still do. I was thankful I could get away from our place (major structural damage) and go be myself for a while.

Tough question and there is no easy answer no matter how you look at it.