Approximately 22,000 people came to Haiti during the period of July 20 to July 30, according to the country’s Ministry of Tourism. That was in large part due to the recent Carnival of Flowers, which occurred at the end of July, the Ministry said.
According to a survey of 2,873 visitors, around 75 percent said they came to Haiti during the period for leisure, including the Carnival of Flowers. The remainder arrived in the country for business meetings or undisclosed reasons.
The data was based on a manifesto from the immigration authorities at Toussaint Louverture International Airport. The carnival, which was held this year for the second time, was reportedly well attended, although crowds led to several hundred revelers being injured, including one death.
Revellers participate in the Carnaval des Fleurs, or Carnival of Flowers, during the three-day festival in Port-au-Prince. At least one person was killed and hundreds more injured at Haiti’s three-day summer “Carnival of Flowers,” which wrapped up Tuesday.
Police said the death occurred Sunday, when a man in his thirties fell off a float. And over the three days, some 800 people, including four young children, were treated by emergency services on Sunday and Monday for illness, accidents and knife injuries, according to emergency services.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the first two days of the carnival, joined by President Michel Martelly, a former singer who has previously presided over the summer festival. The festivities took place in a large public square near the presidential palace – which had been destroyed during the country’s 2010 earthquake that killed 250,000 people.
The president has been criticized by various associations and opposition parties over the carnival, particularly for starting the celebration on July 28, the day Haiti’s US occupation began Haiti in 1915. Martelly has also taken heat for the nearly $2 million spent organizing the event. It is money some say could have been used to help people still living in makeshift shelters three years after the country was ravaged by the earthquake. — Text by AFP