On World Tourism Day, Madagascar’s Presidential candidate for the AVANA Party, Dr Jean Louis Robinson, highlights the benefits a thriving, sustainable tourism industry will have on the impoverished people of Madagascar.
Although the country was positively profiled in the Hollywood animated blockbuster “Madagascar”, the reality is nine out of 10 Malagasy people live below the poverty line. However, Dr Robinson’s manifesto refers to how a rejuvenated tourism industry could breathe fresh life into rural communities and help create a local economy.
Speaking in Antananarivo today, Dr Robinson said: “Many people are unaware of the tremendous beauty of Madagascar. It has a rich array of rainforests, beaches and deserts, which the world would pay good money to see. But if we are to increase tourism to the island, it must be done in a sustainable way. We must be proud of and promote our national treasures, while safeguarding them for future generations.”
“We must start working together and with the international community to create a thriving tourism industry, which will create jobs and bring in much needed revenue to our struggling nation. If elected president, I will work with all communities to ensure the world recognises the great potential our island has to offer.”
Global tourism this year is worth an estimated $1.4 trillion, according to IBISWorld’s Global Tourism research. Dr Robinson believes the impact of capturing a fraction of this market will help boost Madagascar’s regional economy, improve infrastructure, healthcare and education.
This year’s presidential elections in Madagascar have been wrought with controversy, with Madame Lalao Ravalomanana, being forced to withdraw from the race in August. Since she stepped down, Madame Ravalomanana and her party, The Mouvance, have pledged support for Dr Robinson, whom they believe is the only hope in restoring democracy and political stability to Madagascar.