To Be A Vacationer (In North Haiti) Or Not To Be, Is That The Question?

Apparently the latest excursion into politically correct ethical debate involves the question if it is moral to enjoy the beach resorts in North Haiti while bodies pile up in Port-Au-Prince 100 miles away. vThe supposed scandal involves Royal Carribean International resuming stops at the Labadee beach area in North Haiti and the reaction of some outraged folks thinking that this is an immoral sin since the devastation and suffering continues in Port-AU-Prince a scant 100 miles away. vI can’t understand how anyone could think that Royal Caribbean or participating tourists are being "heartless" or "immoral" due to participating in these tours.

One the one hand, these tours help the economy of Haiti and this directly benefits those devastated by the earthquake – the tours put money into the Haitian economy and tax dollars into the government’s coffers and this is a part of exactly what Haiti needs so desperately, a better economy and funds to rebuild. On the other hand, it is impossible see how vacationing in the Labadee area hinders any of the rescue, rebuilding, or aid activities going on in Port-Au-Prince – it does not. On a third hand, if it is immoral to enjoy a posh vacation 100 miles away from an area of suffering and devastation then it must also be immoral to vacation in almost any Caribbean country at any time since they are all fundamentally extremely poor with low standards of living and this is exactly what makes possible the affordable vacations available in these depressed "developing" countries. Yet any economist will show you that tourism is a great boon to all of these countries since it provides relatively excellent jobs (compared to what else is available) and pours lots of hard cash into the economies of these poor nations. vvThese benefits of tourism are needed all the more right now in Haiti – in fact for an American or European taking a trip to Haiti or taking one that includes a stop in Haiti now or in the near future is one of the most helpful things they can do if they wish to help Haiti recover.

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