Entrepreneurship in tourism as a driver for recovery and sustainable development of the countryside in Haiti. The guest houses as a strong potential option
Active Countryside Tourism 23-25. 01.2013, Leeds, United Kingdom Leeds Metropolitan University, ICRETH Session 5: ‘Stakeholders and tourismENTREPRENEURSHIP IN TOURISM AS A development’DRIVER FOR RECOVERY ANDSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE Dr Hugues SERAPHINCOUNTRYSIDE IN HAITI. PhD PGCE MATHE GUEST HOUSES AS A STRONGPOTENTIAL OPTION Lecturer in Event Management and Marketing (The University of Winchester) Associate researcher CREDDI-LEAD 2438 Guyane email@example.com
ENVIRONMENTAL OVERVIEW OF HAITIHaiti was once the richest French colony. Haiti was evencalled the ‘Pearl of the Antilles’ (Séraphin, 2011)Fragile state:Lack of political will/capacity to provide:Basic functions needed for poverty reduction anddevelopmentSafeguard human rights of the populationPublic servicesVulnerable state:Public policiesEconomyShaped by external forces (Moita, Gautier, 2010)
1 – Introduction CONTENTS2 – Purpose of the study3 – Literature review4 – Opportunities available forlocals to set up their ownbusiness5 – Potential and limits of ruraltourism and guest houses inHaiti6 – Conclusion andrecommendations
INTRODUCTIONHaiti used to be the most popular tourist destination in theCaribbean between 1940e – 1960e (Séraphin, 2011)Nowadays, Haiti is mainly known as one of the poorest anddangerous country on earth. It is also now a country with a verylow ‘touristicity’ (Theodat, 2004)The Port-au-Prince Declaration (2011) put forward the creationof small and micro enterprises (SMEs) as one of the seven keypillars for growth in the tourism industry in HaitiRural tourism can be an opening for developing countries (Grandoit, 2005)‘Tourists want more than bed-and-breakfast. They wantsomething you can’t pay for – getting to know people...I amoffering myself and my home’ (Stringer,1981)
Entrepreneurship plays an important role in economicgrowth, innovation and in poverty alleviation (Landes, 1998)Michel (2000) claims tourism can fully benefit a destination, onlyif the locals are fully involved in the planning and developmentof the industry.According to Manyara and Jones (2005), micro and small scaleenterprises can increase the participation of the poor in thetourism industryEntrepreneurship in (rural) tourism seems to be a possible optionfor Haiti in its attempt to develop its tourism industry, reduce thehigh rate of unemployment and improve the standard of livingof the locals.
The Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year programmeBuild new economic foundations for HaitiRewarding and cultivating the new business leaders of HaitiTo be short-listed, the projects must:Show a clear strategic directionBe innovativeHave a positive impact on the local community
MEMA (Mon Entreprise Mon Avenir) projectFunded by the Clinton Bush Haiti FundTurn Haitians’ ventures into profitablebusinessesTo be short-listed, the projects must be:SustainableInnovativeinclusive http://memahaiti.org/qparticiper.php
MEMA / DIGICELBoth projects are supposed to be inclusiveHOWEVERApplication requires a ‘Business plan’50% of the population in Haiti is illiterate65% of the population in Haiti lives below the threshold of poverty(Roc, 2008)In South Africa, Kristen and Rogerson (2002), noticed a limitedinvolvement of the locals in entrepreneurship programmes because ofthe limited education of most of the localsThere is no financial product (Micro Finance Institutions) orientatedtowards micro and small-scale enterprises in Haiti. The MFI delivercredit to micro and small enterprises and contributes to povertyreduction by providing poor people access to financial services (Vander Sterren, 2008). Limited personal and family savings and an absence offinancial innovation severely limit the growth prospects of promisingstart-ups in developing countries (Lingelbach, 2005)
5POTENTIAL AND LIMITSOF RURAL TOURISM /GUEST HOUSES
Research methodology and designIn terms of method we are going to use a qualitative approach. TheAssociation of the Peasants of Vallue (APV)will be sued as a case study.We are starting with the assumption that this hospitality service offered bythis CBT has a rather positive impact overall on the area of Vallue.Also, in order to identify the challenge of running guest houses in Haiti, weare going to analyse the feedback of visitors who went to Haiti and stayed inguest houses. Our source of information is the well established websiteTripAdvisor. Eleven (11) name of accommodation have the terminology‘guest house’ in their name. We only considered those one to make sure thatno other type of accommodation were falsely taken into account. Each guesthouse has been graded from 1 to 4 (1: excellent / 2: Very good / 3: Average /4: Poor / 5: Terrible) using the feedback of the visitors. The results of thestudy will also enable us to identify the key issues with the guest houses inHaiti.
APV•Positive economic impacts:Consuming organic food Modernisation of agriculture and other rural activitiesHaitian dishes, using particularly natural Demand for goods and servicesfood of the area in partnership with local increasefarmers as providers Food, drink and necessary products will be produced by the local farmers and purchase by the touristsAll modern facilities are also available Create employment (especially forfor seminary, conference, honeymoon the rural youth)we offer you excursion, picnic on the Income level will risemountain with troubadour, ethno- Generate foreign exchangebotanic guidance, good music, movie, Local and small business will bedance, traditional society games benefitedHaitian dishes, using particularly naturalfood of the area in partnership with localfarmers as providers
APV•Positive socio-cultural impacts:sharing with the farmers their Cultural understandingculture and acknowledges Exchange of cultural beneficial for both locals and touristswe offer you excursion, picnic on Increase in participation in ruralthe mountain with troubadour, tradition and cultural practicesethno-botanic guidance, good Traditional products will becomemusic, movie, dance, traditional even more popularsociety gamesHaitian dishes, using particularlynatural food of the area inpartnership with local farmers asproviders
APV•Positive environmental impacts:Hotel Villa Ban-Yen is the ideal place Help in create and maintain the natural parkon the mountain to breathe fresh and Learn the importance ofpure air preservation of natural resources Learn to preserve the natural habitats, bio-diversity and historical monuments
TRIPADVISOROnly 54% of the guest houses in Haiti on TripAdvisor have been reviewed(and graded). Out of those 54%, some the guest houses have been graded asgood (3) or excellent (2).Even if we know that those results are only descriptive (and notrepresentative) of the situation they enable us to come to the conclusion thatguest houses in Haiti are rather good compared the hotels Ian Thomson(2004) stayed in. In fact, 6 of the 8 hotels he stayed in were graded as being‘terrible’ (Séraphin, 2012b).Our study has some severe limitations has it relies on an extremely limitedsample. The limitations of this research suggest the need for further studies.
Financial sector modernisation in some developing countries has beenpushed in recent years through so-called Microfinance Institutions(MFIs).They deliver credit to micro and small enterprises and contributes topoverty reduction by providing poor people access to financial services(Van der Sterren, 2008).A well functioning financial sector contributes positively to the level ofeconomic growth and have pro-poor effects only when poor have access tocredit and savings services provided by banks (Beck et al., 2004).The fact that in Haiti poor people are not considered as clients in a way limitthe potential positive impact of the various initiatives. Entrepreneurs inemerging markets rely heavily on informal sources of finance to start theirbusiness (Bygrave, 2003). Limited personal and family savings and an absenceof financial innovation severely limit the growth prospects of promisingstart-ups in developing countries (Lingelbach, 2005).Tourism is a service industry and benefits strongly from liberalised andopen economies (Van der Sterren, 2008).
Because guest houses involve a low cost investment due to the fact they are converted home, they appear as an ideal solution for poor people to step in the tourism industry The guest house option has also the advantage of tying each Haitian family to the tourism sector and to the broader economy. Thus ensuring that the population recognizes how important tourism can be to the country’s economic development (Edmunds, 2012)Haiti has a master card to play, namely its authenticity. It is one of thelatest untouched territories of the Caribbean. Moreover, the tourists bystaying in guest houses are guaranteed to get ‘authenticity’ asopposed to staged performance described by Thomson (2004) inresorts where everyone plays a role.The key issue of Haiti’s development (therefore for its tourism industry)relies on the fact that Haiti has been lead so far by ‘professionalpoliticians’ and not ‘Presidents’ with a genuine interest for thedevelopment of the country (Barreau, 2013). Leadership is thereforethe key issue of the country.
Active Countryside TourismENTREPRENEURSHIP IN TOURISM AS A 23-25. 01.2013, Leeds, United KingdomDRIVER FOR RECOVERY AND Leeds Metropolitan University,SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ICRETHCOUNTRYSIDE IN HAITI. Session 5: ‘Stakeholders and tourismTHE GUEST HOUSES AS A STRONG development’POTENTIAL OPTION Dr Hugues SERAPHIN PhD PGCE MA Lecturer in Event Management THANK YOU FOR YOUR and Marketing ATTENTION! (The University of Winchester) Associate researcher ANY QUESTION? CREDDI-LEAD 2438 Guyane firstname.lastname@example.org