By By Mark LohmanAssociated PressAn upstart company is hoping to make money off the tourist season, and its name is Haiti Mountain Resort.
The resort, which opened in late 2017, is in the middle of its first season, offering more than 200,000 visitors the chance to trek to its scenic mountain trails.
Haiti’s tourism industry is expected to grow to about $1 billion in 2018 from about $900 million in 2017.
HMT has seen a steep climb in popularity, fueled in part by the country’s recent economic turmoil.
The resorts popularity has grown despite the country having few options for tourism, according to Tourism Minister Ricardo De Souza.HMT says its tourism revenue will be enough to pay for the cost of the resorts construction.
In an interview with AP last week, Haiti National Parks Chief Executive Officer John Heneke said the company plans to open a resort in the next few months.
He declined to provide an estimated cost.
The resort is part of an effort by the Haiti Tourism Industry Association, which is led by CEO John Hetzel, to build a business.
Hetzel has invested more than $200 million in the country.
Hetsel said in an interview he has not been able to fully secure financing for the project due to a lack of capital.
He said he will seek the approval of the Haitian government to raise capital from private investors.
The country has been struggling with a massive economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the earthquake and a wave of violence in the Caribbean and beyond.