Patricia Drummond-Bey is the founder of Let’s Go Haiti, a Haiti tourism company. She’s one of the many entrepreneurs who are seeing opportunity as Haiti is being remarketed and rebranded to tourists.
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Belgium but live in the United States. I always appreciated to travel. Since childhood I have been exposed to visit many places. In addition, I worked as a travel agent for many years. I am very fortunate to have visited numerous countries in the world but my specialty has been the Caribbean. Travel and Tourism are a big part of my life. In reality, it’s a true passion. Often, I have organized trips for groups not only in the Caribbean but also in other continents such as Europe.
Kreyolicious: What made you start Let’s Go Haiti?
The first time I set foot in Haiti was in 2005. My experience there left me wanting more. It was love at first sight. The country fascinated me so much. First of all, the people were so friendly. Everyone was ready to welcome me and made me feel comfortable. The vibrant colors, the warm weather, the food, the music…the art charmed me. I felt right at home. It’s simple…Ever since, I wanted to give this country a chance to be recognized appropriately. I always have seen a huge potential for it. My hope for Haiti is that people will fall in love with this unique place but most of all, will appreciate it and respect it. This is pretty much how and why Let’s Go Haiti was born.
Kreyolicious: Was the name of the company pretty much a no-brainer?
Indeed, it was pretty much a no-brainer. Let’s Go is the first thing someone says when ready to go somewhere. “Let’s Go Haiti” made perfect sense.
Kreyolicious: What challenges go into running a tourism business?
The cost of everything is a major challenge such as transportation, accommodations and staff. Another one which is crucial is to find the right people to work with.
Kreyolicious: Haiti tourists come from all over. What’s the profile of an average Let’s Go Haiti tourist?
Most of my clients have traveled the world and are not intimidated by the way the media tends to portray Haiti. They are adventurous and easy going. So far, “Let’s Go Haiti” has had clients from United states, Europe, the Caribbean and Canada.
Above: Pat Drummond-Bey enjoying the Haitian sun and beach that she promotes daily through her company Let’s Go Haiti.
Kreyolicious: What sort of feedback have you gotten from travelers and clients?
People are truly amazed by the beauty of Haiti and the friendliness of its people. Many loved the raw side of this destination. Haiti is not just a place to come relax on a beach. It is a destination that offers much more than that and something for everyone.
Kreyolicious: What do you have to say to those who feel that Haiti tourism shouldn’t be a priority?
Tourism is very important in a country. It creates jobs opportunity and helps the economy. It gives the world an opportunity to visit different grounds and gain appreciation for other cultures. Tourism should encourage people to take pride of their land and customs. Tourism in Haiti is a chance for the country to welcome investors and help the world to realize its true beauty.
Kreyolicious: What would you say to someone who wants to start a Haiti-tourism business?
Be patient. Do a lot of research. Build a trusty network.
Kreyolicious: Where do you see Let’s Go Haiti a year from now?
I see Let’s Go Haiti increasing the number of tours and continuing to encourage people from all over the World to visit Haiti. We also want to see more locals enjoying their own country and take part of sightseeing.