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Labadee (also Labadie) is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private resort leased to Royal Caribbean International until 2050. Royal Caribbean International has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals, allowing another 200 to sell their wares on the premises for a fee, and paying the Haitian government US$6 per tourist.
The resort is completely tourist-oriented, and is guarded by a private security force. The site is fenced off from the surrounding area, and passengers are not allowed to leave the property. Food available to tourists is brought from the cruise ships. A controlled group of Haitian merchants are given sole rights to sell their merchandise and establish their businesses in the resort. Although sometimes described as an island in advertisements, it is actually a peninsula contiguous with the island of Hispaniola. The cruise ship moors to the pier at Labadee capable of servicing the Oasis class ships, which was completed in late 2009.
In February 2004, Royal Caribbean temporarily suspended use of the stop due to political unrest in the country. However, Royal Caribbean has since returned to using this private port.
In 2009, Royal Caribbean made US$55 million improvements to the facilities, including upgrading port facilities to allow docking of their largest cruise ships.
In January 2010, just after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Royal Caribbean decided to continue its luxury cruises to the private port. The corporation announced it would be donating US$1 million to fund relief efforts in Haiti, and to use cruise ships to ferry relief supplies and personnel.
The location is named after Marquis de La Badie, a Frenchman who first settled the area in the 17th century. The spelling was changed to "Labadee" to make it easier for English-speakers to pronounce.
- "Could this paradise really be poor, desperate Haiti?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- "Labadee". Expedia.com. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- "Labadee". The Washington Post. 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- "CRUISES / Sittin' on the dock of the Gulf". The San Francisco Chronicle. 2004-02-27.
- Robert Booth (2010-01-17). "Cruise ships still find a Haitian berth". Manchester Guardian (London).
- R Booth, 'Cruise ships still find a Haitian berth' (20.1.2010) The Guardian
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