Haiti's Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin visited Boston and Brockton on Wednesday, June 3 as part of a national tour aimed at boosting the tourism trade in Haiti from the United States.
Mrs. Villedrouin, accompanied by a team of tourism officials and hoteliers, made a presentation to a room of Haitian American activists at the Thorny Lea Country Club in Brockton on Wednesday evening. In her remarks, Villedrouin pointed to significant progress in the numbers of visitors to Haiti over the last two years, with an 11 percent increase posted between 2013-2014 seasons.
Her visit to Boston comes at an auspicious time, as JetBlue prepares to launch its first-ever direct flights between Boston and Port-au-Prince on June 17. The new gateway has been hailed as a milestone moment for travel and commerce between Boston and Haiti.
Earlier in the day, Minister Villedrouin was a guest of honor at the Massachusetts State House, where State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry met with her in the Senate Reading Room.
"Minister Villedrouin is an amazing ambassador for the Haitian people and is here to help boost tourism to Haiti from Boston and the entire United States," Sen. Forry said in a statement. "I am pleased to support her in her important work.
"Today, we had a chance to speak about concrete ways that the Haitian American community can help by visiting and vacationing in Haiti. Earlier this year, I was pleased to assist in creating a new gateway to Haiti from Boston with new direct, non-stop flights between Boston and Port-au-Prince, which begin on June 17. Minister Villedrouin's visit is the latest sign of a blossoming economic exchange between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Republic of Haiti," Forry said.
Full story to come.