Friday, December 30, 2011

ARTICLE - SUPPRESSION OF VISAS

SUPPRESSION OF VISAS FOR HAITI FOR SOME COUNTRIES
(Haiti Libre) -

Yesterday Thursday, Laurent Lamothe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs accompanied by St├ęphanie Balmir Villedrouin, the Minister of Tourism, announced that starting January 10, 2012, "... that it was decided, as part of the encouragement of foreign investment to Haiti and the promotion of tourism, the suppression of the obligation for all Dominicans, Panamanians and Colombians, to have a visa to enter in Haiti. However, it is necessary that the citizens have a valid passport, a Schengen visa [visa Europe] or a U.S. visa or valid Canadian visa. This decision was taken with the Ministry of Tourism [...] and with the Ministry of the Interior. This measure will allow investors to have one less step to come and see what the country has to offer and will allow us also to increase tourism [...]"

For her part, the Minister of Tourism declared "...effective January 10, as the Chancellor has just said, we will have the opportunity to receive more Dominican tourists. I must say to you that at the level of the Tourism Association of Haiti, which I was a member of before joining the government, we already began approaches on this issue. We had received officials from Dominicans travel agencies, who were very interested in doing holiday packages with Haiti, especially with the north area of the country [...]

When we talked with the officials, they told us that there is a Dominican middle class, who are very interested in coming to Haiti and that if the visa step was removed, they would come more quickly. But not only that, let's not forget that a visa costs about $80-100 dollars and when you multiply that for a family of 4-5 people, this is almost 500 supplementary dollars, to the amount of a tourist package, which is already quite high; especially since these agencies have already said, that in Haiti, we are more expensive than in the Dominican Republic..."

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