The man known as Haiti Travel Guy ranks as one of the biggest Haiti Tourism enthusiasts on social media and elsewhere. Also known as Terry Curtis, the travel adventurer and tourism consultant is the founder of Haiti tourism firm Haiti Travel Adventures. Many a blan who write about Haiti have to walk on eggshells, and watch their tongue lest they should get their #TeamHaiti card snatched, and get dragged by their edges by #TeamHaiti. Not Haiti Travel Guy. He tweets about the beauty of Haiti, and its tourism treasures, but he doesn’t present tropical glitter without delivering some hard truths. Hard truths that come in the form of comments about bad roads, occasional bad customer service, and the like.
Through his tweets and his website, many an adventurous traveler are finding Haiti, or rediscovering it. He promotes Haiti like he’s part of a secret department in Haiti’s Department of Tourism.
Kreyolicious: You write positively of Haiti, and with sweet humor, but you definitely don’t sugarcoat matters with cherry on top. Matter a fact, you’re pretty blunt at times. Sometimes #TeamHaiti and Haitian Twitter don’t like to hear or read ugly truths about Haiti to be highlighted by a blan. Why do you think you’ve never had your lari card, your Team Haiti pass card revoked?
Every week I go to the Haitian Post Office but my card never showed up in the mail. [Smiles] You know, I love to promote Haiti as I travel. But sometimes, you have to laugh at the differences in cultures to make a point. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves in this world. We just need to be respectful. As much as I will promote Haiti, it comes with a great responsibility to not paint a picture that will only disappoint or get someone in trouble. Haiti is not the Virgin Islands. Being in denial is not change. Being honest about the challenges and differences is to let others know this place is just not for everyone. Yet. This is probably why I’ve never been approached by Haiti tourism officials. [Smiles]
Kreyolicious: We went from hearing about Port-au-Prince a lot. A whole lot…to hearing about other cities too. What do you feel is Haiti’s most underrated city?
Au Cayes is a nice quiet little town by the beach. It’s the distance I think that keeps most from making it a destination. But with a few more hotels, there’s no reason it couldn’t be like a Jacmel.
Kreyolicious: I remember reading your review of this hotel in Haiti called Le Perroquet, written a while back, and then seeing tweets about a fire there a few months ago. What’s your reaction when something like that happens…when things seem to be upward bound, and then, and then tragedy.
This was an unfortunate fire. A lot of history there. I remember when it was the Cubana and then the Le Perroquet. It was one of the only decent little hotels right in Petionville for about $60 a night. It was also one of Haiti’s first and oldest English Pubs. There was a fabulous antique wooden bar in there. Sad to see all this destroyed.
Above: A beach in the northern part of Haiti. Photo Credit: Haiti Travel Guy
Kreyolicious: Have you ever thought of doing a travel guide? Something alongside The Haiti Travel Guy’s Guide To Haiti and Things To Do There or 1001 Fun Things to Do While in Haiti.
Great idea. But I’d need a writer. [Smiles] Honestly, I left that up to professionals like Paul Clammer. His latest guide is a very nice tool for those visiting.
Kreyolicious: What’s next for HTG?
As Haiti elects a new president and the next chapter of government takes shape, I am hoping the progress that started will continue. Government stability, security and infrastructure are the keys to building a successful tourism industry. If and when this happens, I am just blessed to be along for the ride.
This concludes Part II of the interview with Haiti Travel Guy. Did you miss PART I? Click here! Be sure to follow Haiti Travel Guy on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM. And don’t forget to visit his website to get more information about booking him for your next visit:—HAITI TRAVEL ADVENTURES!