|US softens travel warnings for Haiti following improvement in security environment|
|Published on August 16, 2013||
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By Rachel Belt
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- The US State Department announced on Wednesday that it has softened the wording of its travel warning for Haiti, citing a decrease in crimes against visitors and an improvement in tourism infrastructure, which shows that the Caribbean country is becoming safer and easier for travelers.
The US government says the changes, in the travel warning's language, reflect the improvements in Haiti’s security environment since the last one issued on December 28, 2012.
"Through the efforts of the Haitian government, particularly the Haitian National Police, there has been a decrease in crime committed against visitors, specifically kidnapping," stated the US State Department.
Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe, told HCNN last week that only two kidnappings were registered in Haiti in July, while outlining significant progress made in the overall security environment, following measures to better equip, train and enable the police to quell criminal activities.
The new report by the Obama administration also notes improvement in the infrastructure available to receive visitors travelling to Haiti.
"New hotels have opened and travel facilities are being improved, so while challenges remain, travel to Haiti is becoming safer and easier," the US State Department reported.
Several international hotel brands have decided to do business in Haiti, such as the Royal Oasis, Best Western that opened recently in the Haitian Capital. Several other Hotel chains, such as Marriott, announced plans to open in Haiti.
"Future travel warnings will reflect Haiti’s progress as it continues to improve the infrastructure in the country," the US government announced.
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The wording on the travel advisory for Haiti is now about the same as the wording on the Travel advisories for Jamaica and Trinidad. All three countries are considered a "critical threat" post crime. However in the case of Haiti words like "Kill", "Murder", "Kidnaping" are used more often, despite the fact that there are thousands of NGO's living in Haiti. The basic concern of the State Department is the response time and adequate resources incase of an emergency. The good thing is that they listed certain areas to avoid instead of branding the entire country as lawless as some previous travel advisories seemed to imply. That would be like branding the entire United States, because of the crime rates in Detroit or St. Louis.
I was one of the harshest critics of haiti, then, now the state department has taken notice of the improvement oh the country security environment,and the tremendous work of the actual government. namely the police, the minister of tourism. this lady desrves a very big applause. I've never seen work that is so very well done to change the image of haiti, which we all suffer in the negative propaganda against our lovely country. bravo madam miniter of tourism. bravo to president martelly, bravo, prime minister, laurent lamothe, bravo chief of police mr goodson aurelus and all the police corp for a job well done you make us all proud of you. keep up the good work haiti and haitian will never forget all of you that washed away the dirt on its face while it was the laughing stock of the world. god bless you all.