Yes, there still can be a tourist market in the country of Haiti. It is just getting the Haitian government to market it as one. Over the past year, we spent nearly one whole month on Haiti, as toursts, not missionaries.
The first week, we were in the upscale community of Petionville, which is essentially a suberb of Port-au-Prince. In Petionville, there are numerous restaurants, art galleries, bars/nightclubs, and even a French perfume/cologne shop. There are also several banks in Petionville, which are better places to exchange US or Canadian currency than any of the hotels. The banks will give you a better exchange rate.
During the week that we spent in Petionville, we stayed at the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. This property is probably the best hotel to stay at in Petionville, along with the Villa Creole Hotel, which is right next door to the El Rancho. The El Rancho has two beautiful sparking pools that are connected by a tunnel and a bridge spanning over them. The hotel truly did a remarkable job with them. Also, they are always kept clean, and NO GLASS is allowed near them. If someone wants a Prestige Beer (Haitian Beer) by the pool, it is poured into a plastic cup. The hotel also has a casino, two easy going bars, and a pricey restaurant with pretty good food. If anyone is going to Petionville, I would highly recommend the El Rancho Hotel and Casino to spend your stay.
Our next place from Petionville was the pretty town of Jacmel. This town is located in southern Haiti, right on the ocean. Jacmel is quite a picturesque place with its gingerbread houses and fairly well-kept streets, and very friendly people. Just walking around the town and going to the market in Jacmel, it is easy to tell the vast differences between here and two and a half hours up the road to Port-au-Prince. There are a few hotels in the town of Jacmel. We stayed at two of them. First of all, we stayed at the La Jacmelienne Hotel for two nights. I highly DO NOT recommend this place. The property says that they are right on the beach. The beach is filthy, completely and totally covered with trash. The even better thing was to go with the trash there were pigs and goats eating the trash, right on the beach!!! The beach is so littered that any one person could not find a clean place to drop his or her towel, if they tried. I asked them when I called the hotel, "how's the beach at your hotel?" They told me, "we're a beautiful hotel right on the beach." As far as we were concerned they did not have a beach. The hotel rooms are HUGE with no mosquito nets. Take my word for it, in Jacmel in the evening the mosquitos get hungry. When I woke up after the first night there in the morning, my parnter wanted to take me to a doctor at the hospital in Jacmel because of the countless mosquito bites on my back and legs. But I declined and was fine. We spent two nights at this hotel, it is terrible. Even at check-in it is almost a volatile situation, rude and uncaring. After two nights here, we then moved over to the Cyvadier Plage Hotel, which is a wonderful hotel right on a beach that can be used, with a nice restaurants and a bar. The Cyvadier Plage is a real nice hotel. There is another hotel in Jacmel called the La Cap Mandou, which is equally a nice place to stay. Overall, we really liked the town of Jacmel.
We then went to Les Cayes for three nights. This town is fairly decent, but is really out of the way and sees few tourist. We were truly a novelty there. The hotel we were at was something like the Vacation Lodge, and ok for the price, but cold showers. Then is was two nights in Jeremie, a rather quiet and dusty town.
Before we made our way back to the US, we did five nights in the bustling city of Port-au-Prince. This is really an amazing city. There are people everywhere and all of the time. There is constantly something to do in Port-au-Prince. Near the Presidential Palace, there are some Haitian monuments and museums to spend some time at. Anyone that is looking for Haitian paintings and woodworks to take back to the states will find several large stands in front of the Champ de Mars park, which is right across the street from the former Holiday Inn Hotel, now simply called the Le Plaza Hotel. In Port-au-Prince, there are several bars and nightclubs to go to, along with a wide choice of restaurants. We stayed at the Le Plaza Hotel in the city, and I thought a decent hotel. Although, they were better when they were a Holiday Inn. This hotel has a bar, restaurant, real nice pool, and is conveniently located right in the center of Port-au-Prince. The only down-side to this property was that in front of the hotel there are several "hustlers" hanging out there, and they can be rather persistent. Take my word for it, don't make conversation with them. They are looking for money and will try at any means to be your "guide". Frankly, they were annoying. For shopping, is the Iron Market. Walking into this place, one will feel that he or she has just fallen into the bowels of hell. The Iron Market has anything and everything that anyone could imagine to purchase from painting, to woodworks, ironworks artcraft, goats, chickens, rice, pasta, name it. It is quite an overwhelming experience. At first, the 'stench' will take you aback, then as all of one's human senses become adapted, you will find some very decent things to bring back to the US. The vendors in there are extremely persistent, and will not stop at anything. We were finding that at times we were being pulled on by four or five different people, insisting that we go to their booth to purchase.
Then it was back to the airport in Haiti, Port-au-Prince International Airport (PAP). We flew American Airlines. Air France and Spirit Airlines also fly in and out of Haiti.
If someone has not traveled to Haiti, and you are a little on the adventerous side, you might want to give this place a try. I feel that tourism in this nation may be on the rise. Anyone that may be interested, we have a website, which is non-commercial, in other words, it is for people's education on traveling to Haiti and enjoyment. We do not make one-cent from it, it can be viewed at the following link, which is fully directed to Haiti.