PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—This week, Digicel and Marriott International broke ground on the $45 million 175-room Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand hotel in the Turgeau area of Port-au-Prince, with opening expected in early 2015, making it the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti.
At a ceremony to mark the occasion, Marriott International’s President and Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorensen was joined by Digicel Chairman and Founder Denis O’Brien as well as the Minister of Tourism Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin .
Digicel Group is responsible for designing and building the hotel and chose Marriott International’s signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand as its operating partner under a long-term management agreement. In addition to creating over 200 new hospitality jobs in Haiti, Marriott will invest in workforce training to benefit the country’s tourism sector.
Kier is the main contractor chosen for the hotel project and Turgeau Developments SA is the operating company, in which Digicel is the investment partner.
The 175-room hotel will include five suites, a casual restaurant with private dining area, fitness center, swimming pool, and a great room lobby with a bar and lounge. The property will also have a gift shop and marketplace and will offer guests 24 hour room service, WiFi, and secure parking.
Digicel Group and its Chairman, Denis O’Brien, are committed to attracting foreign direct investment to Haiti and to helping the country rebuild in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. Mr. O’Brien is founder and Patron of the Digicel Foundation which to date has constructed 100 schools in Haiti. Further, as the chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Action Network, O’Brien has been instrumental in driving the activity of 80 support organizations in Haiti to deliver on their commitments and in reconstructing the iconic Iron Market in Port-au-Prince.
“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 Sorenson. “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.”