Few people in the travel and tourism industry know more about Haiti than Adam Goldstein ’81, the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, which owns and operates a resort at Labadee, on the country’s north coast. And when the disastrous earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince Jan. 12, few were better equipped to send relief supplies to the Haitians affected.
Since Jan. 15, four of the company’s cruise ships have unloaded 40 to 60 pallets of water and food with each visit, Goldstein said in a recent interview with NPR. The supplies are being distributed by Food for the Poor, a local non-governmental organization. Royal Caribbean has pledged at least $1 million in humanitarian aid, and Goldstein has posted updates about the relief effort on his blog.
The cruise line also has continued to bring tourists to Labadee, which was unaffected by the earthquake. That decision drew some criticism, but Goldstein said the Haitian government supported the day trips. As he told NPR, “We actually felt it was a pretty easy decision once we realized that the physical site at our property at Labadee was unaffected by the earthquake, and second, after the Haitian government made it clear that they wanted to continue to have our ships visit, both for the economic benefit that they normally bring, as well as the humanitarian aspect of delivering relief supplies.” Net proceeds from the Labadee visits are being donated to the aid effort, Goldstein said.
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)
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