New Marriott under construction in Haiti getting financial boost

A new Marriott hotel rising from the rubble in Haiti is getting a $26.5 million financial boost.

The International Financial Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, announced Wednesday that it will provide the financing toward the hotel’s ongoing construction. The 175-room hotel is being built near downtown Port-au-Prince in the Turgeau neighborhood.

Marriott International and telecom giant Digicel broke ground on the hotel last year, and it is expected to open in 2015. It will be among several new luxury hotels in Haiti after the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. Spain’s Occidental Hotels & Resort and U.S.-based Best Western have both opened hotels in the last six months in Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb. Spanish hotel chain NH Hotels also will open a new El Rancho in Petionville over the next few months.

IFC officials say the Marriott’s construction is expected to create about 300 jobs. The hotel itself will offer 200 permanent jobs. Marriott Hotels & Resorts will operate the hotel under a long-term management agreement.

“The Marriott brand is synonymous with high quality hospitality,” said Colm Delves, Digicel CEO. “We are glad to help bring this flagship company to Haiti and support the tourism sector, which is one of the government’s priorities. Together with IFC, Digicel is helping rebuild critical business infrastructure needed to attract further foreign investors.”

The IFC currently has about $78.5 million worth of investments in Haiti, which continues to limp toward recovery more than three years after the quake nearly wiped out its economy. The investments are aimed at creating jobs, access to basic infrastructure, and income opportunities for Haitians, the IFC said.

“Haiti has the fundamental conditions for sustainable economic growth, including a competitive workforce, proximity to major markets, and unique cultural and tourist attractions,” said Ary Naim, IFC Representative for Haiti. “With our long-term financing support for this new and important piece of business infrastructure, we are confirming our commitment and confidence in Haiti’s future.”