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Towards the promotion of sustainable and local tourism

This September 27, we will celebrate the World Tourism Day.

The right time to celebrate tourism focused on the discovery of nature, local tourism ... and thus discover our natural wealth.
Unfortunately, the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism in Madagascar is not without consequences. In a few figures, the tourism sector is threatened: 44,000 direct jobs and 300,000 indirect jobs (report of the Multisectoral Emergency Plan of Madagascar published by the primacy in July 2020).
To revive tourism, associations, travel agencies, parks, etc. are focusing on local tourism and putting ecotourism at the heart of their initiatives.

Community tourism: a post-covid revival for the VOI Mitia sy Miaro ny Ala village park

In Madagascar, community-based tourism has been in vogue for several years and can be a privileged form of local development. It is generally accepted that in order to be sustainable, tourism activities must contribute to the empowerment of local communities through their active participation in decision-making and in the development process.

This form of tourism aims to preserve natural, cultural and social heritage and to ensure the sustainability of biological diversity and this is not just an ecological approach. It also implies the participation of tourists and visitors in educational actions to safeguard biodiversity. After visiting a park, how many people think about conserving wild orchids or preserving the natural habitat of the Indri indri after their visit?

One of the leaders and models of local community tourism is the "Village Park VOI Mitia sy Miaro ny Ala" (Lovers and Preservers of the Forests), in Andasibe which was created in 2011 with the initiative of local guides and the grassroots community. Currently, it is almost autonomous for the management of the forest of an area of 30 hectares. For this village park, the number of tourists was 200 visitors per week in 2019. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, this number reduced by 25 for the year 2020-2021. It should be noted that it is the locals who visit the community park during the pandemic period.

In order to prepare for the resumption of tourist activity after the pandemic, training and updating of guide members has been carried out to prepare for the arrival of tourists for the next season. Sanitary measures have also been taken as 70% of the guides of Andasibe have been vaccinated.
Association of the guides of Andasibe

Kivalo Soa Honko: for a revival of local tourism

 "Kivalo Soa Honko" is a community-based ecotourism site in Morondava, with unique landscapes that combines the Baobab Alley and mangroves, a day trip or more from Morondava by car, bike, foot or canoe.
The Kivalo host group offers activities around habitat restoration by planting mangroves, a day and night tour of the river in a traditional dugout canoe to enjoy the mangrove channels, crab fishing, bird watching and also spotting grey lemurs. Guests are welcome to stay with host families run by women in the villages, serving local cuisine and sharing the lifestyle, culture and folklore of Sakalava-Vezo or fishermen, the arts and crafts of the women and the woodcarvers of the village to raise awareness of the diversity of fauna and flora of the site.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected local tourism: the site is no longer able to achieve economic viability while benefiting local communities. Women and youth are the most vulnerable, as international tourism has been closed since the crisis.

Our solution is to orient our strategy by targeting national and regional visitors, in partnership with Madagascar's village associations and private operators who operate in village halls. All this through the promotion of sustainable tourism by building the capacity of host communities in food empowerment, recycling, seafood processing and the rehabilitation of Sakalava tombs and funerary art (Rasidany). Also by organizing more outdoor and sports activities such as hikes, festivals, with practical conservation exercises like mangrove planting.

In order for the recovery to be possible, material reinforcements are also needed: water supply, public transportation such as buses.
Kivalo Soa Honko