Madagascar is also called a "world island" or the "eighth continent." Or, as in the Malagasy Ministry of Tourism's current campaign: "Treasure Island." The campaign’s goal: the island east of Africa would like to move up into the league of the top worldwide destinations. The attractiveness of the fauna and flora and active tourism including scuba diving, hiking, and trekking should be advertised.
With a surface of 587,000 square kilometres, Madagascar is big enough that it forms its own biosphere. The island has 43 national parks, 4,800 km of coast, 300 species of birds, 20 species of lemurs and six different species of baobabs. A paradise for nature-loving travellers? Yes, but not for the Germans. "We do not understand why only 5,000 travellers from Germany came to us last year," said Joel Randriamandranto, president of Madagascar's National Tourism Board, at ITB Berlin. "We want to change that. That is why we are here."
According to Randriamandranto, a dozen high-class hotels were built in the country over the past two years. The number of flight connections is increasing. There are two to three direct flights from Paris each day. Travel time from Europe to Madagascar is on average 10.5 hours. The time difference is only two hours. The tourism board has set a goal of increasing the number of German tourists by five per cent per year until 2019. To further promote the destination, the Malagasy tourism board will host a roadshow in three German cities following ITB Berlin.
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Press Contact: Laura Bicker
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