Though not as popular as other Caribbean islands, Haiti has been a tourist destination for decades but with the 2010 earthquake, key players on the ground consider the past year as the starting point for tourism in the country and the Haitian diaspora is leading this charge.
None of the resorts and hotels want to see the deportations happen considering, among other things, that French-speaking Dominicans of Haitian descent are an essential part of a staff serving international visitors. And while boycotts hurt the people on the lowest end of the labor chain, they're often one of the few things to get leaders' attention.
Tourism provides a critical economic boost in many poor Caribbean nations, but Haiti has long been left off travelers' bucket lists. A combination of on-the-ground development and better communication is needed to change that.
Expect 2015 and 2016 to see new travel patterns as cruise ships refocus some efforts and Cuba's opening causes ripple effects.
Haiti's gone though repeated attempts to develop its travel market. We have hopes that this time will be different.
Just a note to the PR team: Next time Carnival issues statements about spending tens of millions of dollars on a very poor island it may want to mention opportunities for residents to participate in the profit sharing.
Hilton Garden Inn is opening its first property in the Caribbean, in Haiti, joining Best Western and Marriott in the country. JetBlue is bringing more flyers, and it's all a positive development for Haiti.
It's doubtful that this will end well for the islanders. Whether or not future luxury hotel guests will care is another matter.
Haiti's government is introducing several initiatives to attract tourists and revive its struggling travel sector. However, armed policemen seem to send a more foreboding message than intended.