Madagascar tourism news – june 2011

New malagasy rising stars

Madagascar is known worldwide because of its natural biodiversity,
its animals and plants. For the latter, medicinal plants are starting to steal the spotlight from the usual
precious woods scandals as this year, the Big Island is expecting an increase in the export compared to last year. According to the National Institute of Statistics of Madagascar (INSTAT), the export of medicinal plants in 2010 was  about 908 tonnes for 7.980 million Ariary (about 4 million dollars).

Aloe, prized for its powerful healing for difficult diseases, is the big star of the lot. But there also has the Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora), an indispensable ally in the treatment against ear, nose and throat (ENT) infections. Europe is the biggest consumer of Madagascar exports for up to 70%, followed by the United States.





Speaking about Stars …

Madagascar had a remarquable participation during the Orange International half marathon on June 25th in Mauritius. Hajanirina Andriamparany in the men category won the bronze medal after arriving 30 seconds behind the kenyan winner Kipsang Pius Korir. With a name like that, Korir / courrir (french for running), six/half dozen:)

For women, Clarisse Rasoarizay, a malagasy heroine, who has held the torch high several times for Madagascar in many international competitions, also won the bronze medal. The victory went to the Kenyan Bornes Jepkirui Kitur … makes wonder what the Kenyans eat! That said, congratulations to our champions!




A small step for airlines companies…

A big step was taken on June 6th by the Vanilla Islands committees in their conquest of the Indian Ocean tourism market. The project to establish a partnership with the airline companies serving the area was realized following a meeting counting the participation of delegations from Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion and Comoros. Madagascar was represented by Joel Randriamandranto, President of the Madagascar National Council of Tourism. Several airlines were represented including Air Mauritius, Air France, Air Seychelles, Air Austral, Corsairfly, Comair, Air Madagascar, Emirates, Condor, South African Airways, British Airways, Transaero and Meridiana Fly.

A consensus emerged from the meeting in order to improve air traffic in the region and the combination between islands. Initially, the Vanilla Islands destination will appear in the in-flight magazines of airlines and a clip will also be broadcast on board. Then, a reduction in airport taxes will be considered. And finally, a specified comittee will work on the packages tarification and the Vanilla Islands pass.


Direct flight to Johannesburg for Air Madagascar

Air Madagascar may have been banned from european airspace but their team is far from jobless. Indeed, it was announced on June that a direct flight from Johannesburg to Nosy Be will be established once a week on Saturdays. The announcement takes immediate effect according to the company.
Such an effort deserves special mention as malagasy tourism suffers also from African Union exclusion due to the unresolved political crisis. While this is not a travel ban but it still does drop drastically arrivals of flights because of the ban on participation in meetings and interactions with the countries of the African Union.

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