With efforts by the government to re-establish peace after a political crisis in 2009, visitors have come back to the country. In terms of arrivals, inbound tourism is getting closer to the record numbers registered in 2008 before the 2009 coup. But, for investors, these positive changes are still not really reassuring, and the government, which depends on foreign investment, lacks the resources to develop the necessary conditions to boost travel and tourism. The government has implemented measures to control the price of fuel and launched mining and petrol extraction programs to boost the country’s economy.
The government is pushing the development of the country’s air infrastructure, with the reconstruction of Ivato International Airport in 2011-2012, in order to attract more tourists from Europe. It also plans to buy new aircraft for this purpose. These efforts are however being made to the detriment of the development of other modes of transport. Half of the country’s roads are of poor quality and do not allow inhabitants and tourists to travel across the island. This also hampers car rental development as tourists are obliged to stay in or close to the capital city.
Ecotourism is seeing good development in Madagascar thanks to the presence of exciting natural sites, including 50 natural parks and reserves located on the island. This is combined with the presence of mid-priced travel accommodation outlets (2-star and 3-star suites within small cosy hotels) and French-speaking personnel. Ecotourism operators work in cooperation with local sustainable tourism associations, like Utopiks Loustiks. New hotels were also opened in 2012, and more ecotourism hotels are expected to open during the forecast period.
The majority of tourists come to the island for leisure tourism: many of them, who were originally from the island but currently live in France or other countries, have relatives in Madagascar. As for business tourism, it is expected to see growth in the forecast period due to political stability if there are no more clashes after the postponed presidential elections in 2013. New 4-star hotels are being built to attract high-value tourists to invest money in the country.
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