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"Build It" said our Haitian Associates -- an Historic Announcement

Posted: November 28, 2011 05:49:47 PM

 

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One of the best things Marriott can do to improve the lives of people and communities around the world is to open up a brand new hotel.  Right away we create hundreds of new jobs, provide skill training and help improve the environment for doing business. 

 

That's why I'm so very proud to announce that Marriott will open a hotel in Haiti.  It will be the first hotel in Haiti since the earthquake and the first international hotel to be located there.  When we open our doors, it will signal that Haiti is also open for business. 

 

Earthquake footage courtesy of the American Red Cross

Two years ago when the earthquake struck, I was staying at our Marriott Harbor Beach Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hotel where more than 200 Haitians work.  Many of them lost family members and our foundation immediately contributed to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.

What would become of Haiti?  The country’s resilient spirit gripped the world.  Could the poorest country in the western hemisphere be rebuilt better than ever after this terrible earthquake?  

I knew we needed to explore building a new hotel.  How this deal was “baked” is a remarkable story that goes straight to our core values of putting people first and serving our world. 

Led by Haitian associates, Harbor Beach sent a team to join in the relief efforts.  It was grim.  They didn't even have places for them to stay or to eat.  

Bill Marriott and Harbor Beach AssociatesThen, working with the Clinton Foundation, our development team led by our Executive Vice President for Global Communications and Public Affairs, Kathleen Matthews, went to Haiti to explore possible sites and local partners.  Among them was Digicel, the largest telecommunications firm in the Caribbean, who had recently entered the Haitian market.  They needed hotel rooms to get business done and they were interested in being our partner. 

Marriott Haiti hotel renderingThe 173-room Marriott hotel is scheduled to open doors to “a world of opportunity” for the people of Haiti.  I know our Haitian associates in Florida are excited to train the new workers and get the hotel launched in 2014.

This is an historic moment for Marriott and for Haiti.  Our associates deserve the credit.  They urged us to "build it," and WE ARE.  Their spirit would not let us walk away. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about our move into Haiti.  Would you travel there?

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

 

Comments

Posted By: Jane (11/28/2011 at 06:13 PM)
Comment:

I had the chance to visit Haiti many years ago and fell in love with the country. Your announcing a new hotel must be like a "Field of Dreams": "If you build it, they will come"... the tourists, the businesses... the opportunities. In this season of giving, you just gave an entire nation hope for a better future.

Posted By: Lynne Tuttle (11/28/2011 at 09:47 PM)
Comment:

This is a wonderful venture that Marriott has entered into, and will certainly help the economy of Port Au Prince.
Many lives will be changed with the opening of this new hotel. Kudos to all involved with this great idea!

Posted By: John (11/28/2011 at 11:21 PM)
Comment:

What a heartwarming story for a ravaged nation. Not many companies would listen to its employees and follow their urging. The Caribbean is a better place.

Posted By: ELMIS HERNANDEZ (11/28/2011 at 11:23 PM)
Comment:

it so exited to hear that the marriott family are open business in HAITI . it will be an opportunity for haitians to show their belift that no matter how many times they felt .but matter the times they get up from the ashes.

Posted By: jefferson firmin (11/28/2011 at 11:36 PM)
Comment:

thats gonna be a real good thing for haiti...as an haitian i will be proub to come back home !!!!the world greatest

Posted By: A.D.M. (11/29/2011 at 07:20 AM)
Comment:

That's a great news! I was over-joyed to hear this on the radio...
Haiti lost some nice Hotels (Holiday Inn, Montana...), others were closed down.
I think Marriot to Haiti is an opportunity!

Posted By: Amy Nyman, Marriott World Headquarters (11/29/2011 at 10:07 AM)
Comment:

Mr. Marriott,
Having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the neighboring country, Dominican Republic, I traveled to Haiti many times.
The reason I went from the Peace Corps to work for Marriott is to be a part of a company that creates a world of opportunity and can help me reach my personal goal to effect large-scale positive change in emerging economies. Thank you for creating opportunity on the island where I started my journey. I plan to go back and visit many times over.

Posted By: Deborah Sewell (11/29/2011 at 10:49 AM)
Comment:

This is incredible..to think that the Marriott could see potential in a country such as Haiti just reinforces their committment to empowering individuals and creating opportunities for individuals worldwide. I am proud to be working for a company who believes in social investment.

Posted By: Richard Sassine (11/29/2011 at 11:06 AM)
Comment:

This is exavctly what Haiti needs. Perhaps Turgeau is not the strategically ideal neghborhood for that but, as a Haitianj entrepreneur, this announcement wil make it very difficult not to have Marriott as my first choice wherever I travel.

Posted By: Eddy (11/29/2011 at 11:26 AM)
Comment:

You have no idea! This is an awesome move! I would definetely travel to Haiti

Posted By: Nicolas Ronel (11/29/2011 at 11:37 AM)
Comment:

Hi
Haiti needs infrastructures specially hotels,roads and much more. many don't miss to promise but I hope this time this project is'nt just a promise as usually!

Posted By: Richard Cantave (11/29/2011 at 11:38 AM)
Comment:

THis is exactly what the Haitian people NEED, they don't need "DONATIONS" they are hard workers, they want to work their way to sending their kids to school and provide food on the table at home to hope for a better tomorrow!

Posted By: José Luis Martinez (11/29/2011 at 12:38 PM)
Comment:

thank for make better this world and special for haitian people, if you need my help training staff let me know please.

Posted By: Romy Saget (11/29/2011 at 01:06 PM)
Comment:

Mr. Marriott,

I'm so glad you have decided to make that move for Haiti, as we always say " the Haitian people are not comfortable with handouts, they want job" " they have strong beliefs in the teach them how to fish and not to fish for them." I left Haiti in 1986 and have not been back since due to security concerns and the lack of lodging logistics. I can tell you, now I planned on visiting the minute this hotel opens. I'm very familiar with the chosen location where it is will be built (went to primary school there) and you have made a great choice on the location. The only location that would be better would be on the beach but I won’t complaint, we have something to build on, I hope this venture will be so successful for the company and its partners that this is just the stepping stone for more Marriott brands to be built in Haiti (perhaps, even a Ritz Carlton). I’m so proud to work for such a great and responsible company. Thank you for teaching them how to fish.

Posted By: tom bratton (11/29/2011 at 05:15 PM)
Comment:

Bill, You've done a good thing ! Tom Bratton

Posted By: The Stricks (11/29/2011 at 05:16 PM)
Comment:

Haitians are very hard workers. On Grand Bahama Island there is a 100% native employment policy - and as a result they are pretty worthless. The Haitians do all the work the "natives" won't do, or never get around to doing, and they do it with a smile!

Posted By: Bud Ward (11/29/2011 at 05:17 PM)
Comment:

Nice going Bill---again!! And you know what I mean.
Bud

Posted By: @luvheli (11/29/2011 at 05:23 PM)
Comment:

Wouldn't be on my current 'to do' list. I've been to hotels where they are an oasis from the masses....and it's not comfortable, ie hotel rooms costing more than the average monthly wage of locals. Will wait and watch.

Posted By: WILDER SAVANY (11/29/2011 at 05:33 PM)
Comment:

The success of Mr.MARRIOTT,his family and team are teaching us one more time why of their success, give, give and keep giving without waiting nothing, the Universe created by GOD has the answer. Bless

WILDER SAVANY

Posted By: Wes (11/29/2011 at 05:38 PM)
Comment:

Dear Mr. Marriott;

I left Haiti 22 years ago. when I came to the U.S, I started working as a waiter at Courtyard By Marriott and have worked my way up.Due to the culture of your organization that mainly focuses on people, I have chosen to make the hotel industry my career until today. The Marriott philosophy and culture are embedded in my leadership style. For, I have been very fortunate to work for one of the greatest brands in the world. Your philosophy of doing business has not surprised me to see you are about to enter the Haiti's Market.You are touching peolpe's life daily. I am very proud to see the attachment of two jewels that have the greatest impact in my life. Marriott means value, people, development, growth etc. Thanks for being such a great leader, a "people" person before all. I wish you great successes in Haiti.

Posted By: Vilas (11/29/2011 at 05:44 PM)
Comment:

Mr. Marriott,
It is an outstanding decision. It will certainly assist Haiti to rebuild the economy and lives of Haitian. Yes, I would definitely travel there.

Posted By: Denis Dambreville (11/29/2011 at 06:11 PM)
Comment:

I am a current Silver Elite Marriott Rewards member, I am also a Haitian American who is an Architect leaving in the States. This is a great leap of Faith that the Marriott Chains have undertaken towards Haiti. Along with Digicel you are leading the world on the much needed investment that Haiti will need to prosper. In 10 years time you will see the results of this. It will be phenomenal.

Posted By: François Saint-Phard (11/29/2011 at 06:15 PM)
Comment:

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
If you build it, they will come.
If Marriott builds it, they will definitely come.
No Doubt, sir!

Posted By: charlotte tomaszewski (11/29/2011 at 06:34 PM)
Comment:

Wonderful news. This can be the linchpin for the tourism industry in Haiti!

Posted By: Wilfredo J Murillo (11/29/2011 at 07:50 PM)
Comment:

That's wonderful that Marriott is making a commitment to poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I wish it could be possible to do the same for second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere: Nicaragua. I am a native of Nicaragua, and I have spent close to 1,200 nights at Marriott hotels around the world for the last 25 years, and I hope that one day I will be able to stay at a Marriott hotel there.

Best regards,

Wilfredo J. Murillo

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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