January 23, 2010

Your Turn: Those Haiti Cruises — The Fun Is Just Beginning

Haiti Cruise Earthquake 4

Haiti Cruise Earthquake 1 Haiti Cruise Earthquake 2 Haiti Cruise Earthquake 3

You knew the newswires were bound to publish photos like these soon enough.

The first three pictures capture passenger activity from a Celebrity Cruise ship docked Friday in Labadee, Haiti, a private resort (satellite pic) on the north coast. In the fourth, set on the Labadee beach, the nurse is a hospital volunteer taking a break from ministering to earthquake victims.

I’m interested in your take on any or all of the photos. (Specific captions are below.)

Just a few questions, though, to add to the mix: Many activists are up in arms about pre-earthquake, Clinton-driven “revitalization” plans for Haiti. One part involves promoting the country as a marquee tourist destination emphasizing what one critic described as “eco-tourism, archaeological exploration and visits to voodoo rituals.”

If that’s the plan, I’m not only interested in how these photos read today, given the devastating scene to the south, but also as a potential preview of what’s to come, as many argue that an expanded tourism industry is part of the economic path forward for a country that’s destitute.

And then, I was also wondering how much can you either find fault with the nurse, or with AP for calling her out?

(Some backstory via MSNBC, including Cruise Co. disaster donation; NPR interview with Royal Caribbean CEO.)

(photos: Lynne Sladky/AP. caption 1: Joseph Philibert holds a sign to offers day trips to passengers from the Celebrity Cruises ship Solstice in Labadee, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. Cruise ships continue to stop at the Labadee resort after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12. caption 2: Passengers from the Celebrity Cruises ship Solstice zipline in Labadee, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. caption 3: Dancers with the AFC Troupe Source entertain passengers from the Celebrity Cruises ship Solstice in Labadee, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. caption 4: Nurse Carol Myers, 53, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, sits on the beach in Labadee, Haiti, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. Myers was taking a break from volunteering at a nearby hospital treating people injured by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12. Note: caption 2 and 3 had same second line as #1.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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