Madagascar: Minister outlines comprehensive strategies to attract one million tourists by 2028

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Madagascar welcomed hundreds of international buyers and local exhibitors to this year’s Madagascar International Tourism Fair (ITM), held from 20th to 23rd June. The event, which took place at the International Pavilion of the Centre de Conférence Internationale (CCI), was held in tandem with the Madagascar International Handicraft Fair (IHM).

In an exclusive interview with VoyagesAfriq, Joël Randriamandranto, Madagascar’s Minister of Tourism, elaborated on a series of initiatives aimed at boosting the country’s tourism numbers, with an ambitious target of attracting at least one million visitors by 2028.

“So today Madagascar gets an average of about 300,000 tourists. In 2019 it was a bit more. In 2023 a bit less, and in 2024 we’re between 2019 and 2023. The goal is to get to 1 million tourists in 2028,” said Randriamandranto.

He outlined a multi-faceted strategy to achieve this goal. “The strategy today of course is to diversify and open up new markets. So we have the traditional markets like France, England, Italy, Germany, so of course we’re bolstering our presence in those markets but we’re going to position on new markets like Eastern Europe, India, Africa, Asia, to begin with. So that’s our first strategy,” he explained.

“The second one is to diversify our offer, publicise the diversity we have in Madagascar and that means being able to send tourists all year round, because often when we talk about luxury products, that’s not always done during the high season. It may happen in the inter-season. When talking of sport, that occurs in a well-defined season. So diversifying our offer means we can bring in tourists all year round,” he continued.

Joël Randriamandranto, Madagascar’s Minister of Tourism

Randriamandranto also emphasised the importance of increasing the number of available seats on flights to Madagascar. “So the airlines that already fly to Madagascar need to add more regular flights and we need to bring in other airlines to have even more seats. So that’s the third direction we’re going to work on. To sum up: the first direction – open new markets, second direction – diversify the offer, third direction – increase the number of seats,” he said.

Another crucial aspect of the strategy involves enhancing the accommodation infrastructure. “The fourth direction is really to increase the number of rooms to accommodate the tourists. So increasing the number of rooms is not just in one class but in ecolodges, luxury hotels, guest houses, traditional houses, really all types of accommodation. We must encourage investors today to invest in accommodation infrastructure,” Randriamandranto noted.

The Fair attracted participants from several parts of the world

Lastly, the Minister touched on the need for effective promotion. “The fifth direction is the way we promote, so not only open new markets but how to promote in those new markets. There is a readjustment in our usual procedures to produce concrete actions. The first thing is to increase the number of famtrips we organise.

“So today the goal is to get up to 600 tour operators on famtrips in Madagascar this year and from next year 500 per year until 2028. Then the second action we’ll put in place is to attend more and more international public tourism trade fairs, not just industry ones, to support retailers who have already been on famtrips to Madagascar to sell the Madagascar destination,” he said.

A prominent feature of the fair was the B2B sessions involving both buyers and exhibitors

The fair saw more than 400 booths exhibited for both the ITM and IHM, and featured 26 high-level conferences, bringing together national and international speakers to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the tourism sector.

Renowned panelists participated, and about forty international travel agents took part in famtrips and press trips, allowing them to discover and promote Madagascar’s hidden treasures.

Photos from the ITM & IHM event can be accessed here.

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