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Velondriake Ecotourism Plan

  • Thursday, 04 December 2008 23:00
Koopman, M. - Blue Ventures Conservation Report

Summary

This report describes an analysis of current tourism activities in Velondriake, its marketing environment and provides a strategy for future development. Velondriake consists of 25 small villages along the Malagasy west coast situated approximately 40 km south of district capital Morombe. Due to growing populations in the area the pressure on the marine resources of Velondriake, on which the local ‘Vezo’ people depend, has led to the suffering of the coastal ecosystems. Fishing the way the local population has done for centuries cannot provide sufficient income for all Velondriake’s inhabitants in the future. Therefore alternative livelihoods are searched in sea farming and ecotourism.

Madagascar is one of the most poor countries in the World. The lack of international investments in the country together with the difficult accessibility and underdeveloped educational facilities provide a major constraint to the growth of the tourism industry in the country. The tourism masterplan for Madagascar (2004) has given the Velondriake region a long term priority.

Although there are tourists coming to the area, there is no significant benefit for the local people leading from the presence of these tourists. Only few people have found work in one of the few (small) hotels and there are no jobs in recreational activities. There are not enough facilities and activities to pursue tourists staying for a longer period. An improvement of activity services can strengthen the attraction of the area and make the whole more appealing for tourists. Besides the marketing efforts of the individual hotels, there hasn’t any destination planning, development or marketing been done. Therefore the destination is relatively unknown in the target market destinations.

Because of the poverty that is found all over Madagascar the transportation systems are very underdeveloped. In the area of Velondriake there are no paved roads, nor is there public transport present. Except for tour groups organized from Antananarivo, there is no organized  transportation which tourist have easy access to. The lack of transportation makes the area hard to access.

There have been studies conducted in the potential opportunities and threats tourism brings to Velondriake in recent years. This report however is aimed to put tourism analyses one step further and provide a plan for the future development for Velondriake as a successful destination. In order to do so a strategy based on ecological, social and economical sustainability has been drawn up and outlined in goals an objectives.

  • The goals which provide a general direction for the development are:

  • To increase the benefits from tourism activities for the local community;

  • To encourage tourists to stay longer on the destination;

  • To increase the number of tourist visiting the area;

  • To encourage tourists to participate in activities and use local services;

  • To create sustainable jobs for local people in the hospitality industry;

  • To encourage the development of tourism facilities and services;

  • To improve infrastructure supporting tourism activities;

  • To improve the capability of managing the overall destination development;

  • To improve local knowledge in order to operate successful and sustainable in an economical, socio-cultural and environmental way;

  • To improve the health and natural beauty both on land and in marine areas;

In order to make these goals achievable a series of objectives are drawn up which each try to contribute to several goals at once. This number of goals is chosen to ensure the overall quality is preserved. The objectives are worked out into action plans which gives direction how the  objectives can be achieved.

  • Establish a tourism association to manage tourism development;

  • Set up a monetary system to gain overall revenue from tourism

  • Construct a community eco-lodge

  • Improve transportation infrastructure to increase the accessibility

  • Offer visitors at least five significant different activities to undertake on site

  • Increase the number of tourist nights to 15.000 per year

  • Ensure a tourism impact measurement system