Port Salut is in Haiti.
In the South Department of Haiti, along its shoreline, lies the sublime beauty of Port-Salut, a hidden treasure. The town was the birth place of both former President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and Prime Minister, Jean-Marie Cherestal.
Although Port-Salut is considered one of the most appealing places on Haiti's tourist map to visit, it has not been developed enough to encourage more tourist dollars to be spent there. The World Tourist Development has largely ignored the potential of Port-Salut to offer more than just its sliver-sand beaches, which can be found anywhere on the island. Rather for eco-tourists to discover the rich variety of its flora- and fauna-proliferated terrain is where the town needs to head in having its unique ecology promoted. The Haitian Diaspora is starting to recognize possibly the most appealing tourist destination in the South Department. Port-Salut's cleanliness and its warm-hearted people residing there add to its attraction.
Haiti's Minister of Tourism, Stéphanie Villedrouin, a one-woman whirlwind of unceasing activity in promoting Haiti as a world-class tourist destination, has been working diligently to open up the island to more tourism. She has applied her talents and skills in developing the hospitality industry, and hailing improvements in the infrastructure to make available areas of Haiti that have been inaccessible so far.
Now that the Diaspora has been awakened to the possibilities of Port-Salut's potential as a tourist magnet, it remains only a matter of time when the government will open its pocketbook, so Port-Salut can increase its tourism.
Port-Salut is the Haitian tourist industry's best-kept secret. Located on the southern-most coastal part of the Tiburon Peninsula, it lies close to the western tip of it. Ironically, though it contains paved routes, very few tourists know of its existence. Beaches that embrace the village are made of white sand, fine and almost sugar-like in texture. Favorite beaches of the Haitian residents living there include Plage Macaya and Kalico.
Some of the activities visitors can enjoy in Port-Salut, besides relaxing on the beaches, are exploring the coastline by bike, which can be accomplished in a couple of hours; experiencing mountain waterfalls and the fresh-water pools they create; and spelunking through a maze of caves, where at any time you may emerge onto a scene of breath-taking beauty overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
One of the main avenues for entertainment to the 18th century elite, a Fête champêtre (a country feast or pastoral festival) was a type of garden party much loved at court. With pretensions to simplicity, the Fête champêtre was patronized by the well dressed, entertained by musicians hidden in the trees, as they enjoyed the beauty of landscaped park.
The festivals offer an opportunity for the growth of the rural economy. The activities organized, whether to deal with art, religion, or simply for partying, are organized to bring in revenue. But some sites are wholly incapable, due to the lack of infrastructure, to fully capitalize. While there is massive trading in the informal sector as restaurants, and other retailers see a sizeable increase in the consumption of their goods, a significant yearly non-realization of revenue will be experienced until development in rural areas happen to sustain the drive of tourism to these areas and generate revenue in the formal market
Port-au-Salut is a friendly and tranquil place, ensured by the UN Peacekeeping Mission that has occupied the island for well over a decade. The Haiti Minister of Tourism, Stephanie Ville-Drouin, has been working hard to develop tourist trade on the island, to draw more tourists to the barely-known jewels of Haiti, among them Port-Salut. If enough private investment can be secured for the village, it will benefit greatly from the tourist dollars spent there.