Madagascar tourism news – march 2011 – part 2
What do mobile phones and lemurs have in common?
The lemurs of Madagascar have become so popular that even Sir Richard Branson, Mr Virgin himself, wants to introduce them on the Mosquito Island, one of the British Virgin Islands and his personal property. Sir Branson finds the lemurs “beautiful” and wants to preserve them as well as the other rare animal species already present on his island.
Twenty-four Catta Lemur or commonly Makis originally from Madagascar, but collected from several zoo in South Africa, Canada and Sweden have been quarantined and thoroughly examined before being transferred permanently to Mosquito. The makis are the Madagascar’s most famous lemurs with their black and white ringed long tails. One certainly know the famous King Julian in the animated film Madagascar from DreamWorks.
Earth Hour in Madagascar
On march 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm local time, the Queen’s Palace in Antananarivo, one of the most iconic buildings on the Big Island, has turned off its lights as several other national monuments in the world as the Sky Tower in New Zealand, the Opera House in Sydney (Australia), the Eiffel Tower in France, etc.. This palace was the first site named World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in Madagascar.
Air France and Air Madagascar: the best enemies
Air France recently awarded 40 seats per week to the national airline Air Madagascar among its flights Paris-Tana and Tana-Paris as part of their trade partnership. This agreement took effect on March 2nd and was announced as the beginning of a promising cooperation between the two companies.
A code-sharing agreement was also signed between these two companies allowing passengers of Air France to fly with Air Madagascar from Antananarivo to other local destinations, and vice versa for passengers flying with Air Madagascar when they land in Paris to another french destination. Thereby, travellers benefit from direct and transparent fares between the two companies.
Madagascar at a rendez-vous with the world
Madagascar was present at the “Monde à Paris” fair from March 17 to 20, 2011. This year’s theme revolved around feasting, dancing and promoting the cultural heritage of cities worldwide. The National Tourism Office of Madagascar and some malagasy travel agencies have been promoting Madagascar and its festivals, music and typical dishes.
The event was open to the public and tourism professionals worldwide. And for the record, this year’s special was a guay and lesbian space offering customized products for the gay market.
Bocce and tourism …
Bocce or petanque is an accessible and very popular sport in Madagascar. Malagasy professional teams regularly participate in international tournaments around the world and have always had a great level.
On march 27 and 28, 2011, one have probably heard about the CBT Grand Open which took place in Antananarivo. The winning triplet was awarded three tickets Tana – La Reunion – Tana and the assurance of an all included stay at the prestigious Inter Indian Ocean tournament in St-Pierre, La Reunion.
If you have not try it yet, bocce is definitely a tourist activity to try out. Who knows? You may discover yourself a passion!
Madagascar as seen by little U.S. travelers
In Europe, Madagascar is well known by various discovery tourism fairs and exhibitions. In America, Madagascar is presented mainly by students who have completed their summer internship or volunteering work in the Big Island. This is the case of eight students from the School of Swampscott, Massachusetts United States. They showed on March 24 a documentary of their trip to Madagascar.
The purpose of their trip was to visit the country while doing volunteer work, making friends and immersing themselves in local culture. The children have returned definitly changed and more aware than ever about community tourism.
If you also want to realize similar projects in Madagascar, please contact Voyagiste Madagascar to put you in touch with local correspondents.
A single visa for SADC countries
The SADC Ministerial Meeting to be held in Lusaka (Zambia) on June this year, has placed on top of his agenda a major action plan for the region’s tourism. This is mainly to decide whether to adopt a single visa (Univision) for all their member countries: Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
For now, tourists visiting each of the SADC countries are required to stamp their passports for entry and exit. Worse yet, citizens of each of those conutries must obtain a visa if they want to visit the neighboring country. SADC believes that by facilitating the mobility of national and international tourists in their territory, tourism can create extremely beneficial economic impact in terms of job creation, income, balance of payments , income tax and national GDP growth.
The strategic plan as envisaged will probably not stop only at the entry requirements but can go up to form a coalition of airlines to face the giant competitors of aviation.
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