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9023: Mission Groups are Tourists Incognito (fwd)

From: Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com>

JHUDICOURT complains that Mission Groups are worthless for the
development of Haiti, and I am inclined to agree if they are
only viewed as missionaries.  (Of course this IS how they
frequently view themselves, and regrettably that may come across
as a distasteful superiority complex...ie. we're going down to
help 'save' the poor natives).

In fact, the proper way to look at these groups is to consider
them as tourists travelling incognito.  And, if we want to
encourage more tourism, we should be encouraging MORE such
mission groups.  

I have long argued that the folks in the Ministry of Tourism
here are missing out big time by not targeting these groups for
return trips, providing package programs specifically catering
to their interests, etc. etc.  How about a Baptist Development
Week with the weekend devoted to 2 days at Moulin Sur Mer
compliments of the Haitian Government!  In fact, the government
could offer the 2 day weekend to ANY arriving religious group
that was staying a minimum of 7 days.  My guess is that the
beach involved would supply one night for free if the Government
paid for the other night.  And just how would the government pay
for the other night?  By a special earmarking of the $30 airport
departure tax, of course.  You can bet these 'missionaries'
would leave with a new appreciation of Haiti and good reports
back home would encourage an even bigger group for their next
trip.  And hey, if they want to believe they are helping 'save'
the poor natives, so what?

Lance Durban

a Missionary Entities.

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