The message after a UNWTO crisis meeting in London today was: Travel and Tourism to Madagascar is open again. Plague is history. Madagascar is ready to welcome tourists with open arms again. It was a day of relief today for Madagascar tourism and Roland Ratsiraka at the ongoing World Travel Market in London.
The Hon. Roland Ratsiraka, minister of tourism for the Indian Ocean island nation, had maneuvered through a tremendous problem after a plague outbreak. Today, fellow ministers and health officials, as well as the UNWTO, gave him a green light.
His island has a wealth to offer. The country is home to thousands of animal species, such as lemurs, found nowhere else, plus rainforests, stunning beaches, and reefs.
As of today, Madagascar is ready to welcome international tourists again. According to Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, there is no more danger for a visitor to experience this beautiful Indan Ocean island country.
At 7:00 pm, ministers from the neighboring countries including Mauritius, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Kenya debated for 2 hours, and told eTN a joint statement would be issued shortly.
Madagascar is a member of the Vanilla Islands Tourism Organization and UNWTO.
The Hon. Minister Roland Ratsiraka told eTN that his nation is safe to be visited.
UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai had visited Madagascar recently together with a high-level UNWTO delegation to express the organization’s full support to the tourism sector. Madagascar’s tourism was facing a challenging situation following a plague outbreak which has prompted some countries to implement travel restrictions with Madagascar. Mr. Rifai recalled the World Health Organization (WHO) advises no restriction on travel or trade to Madagascar.
Rifai explained today that modern health security procedures are in place in Madagascar. The body temperature for every arriving or departing airline passenger is taken (high body temperature is a clue the person may be infected).
Mr. Ratsiraka told eTN the crisis is over. He said: “What they need now are tourists.”
Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine for the Seychelles, announced Air Seychelles is expected to resume services to Madagascar shortly.
The Hon. Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Tourism for Mauritius, voiced his support and said there are no longer any restrictions in place to travel from or to Mauritius to Madagascar.
Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Tourism for Kenya, also had no objection to giving an all-clear for Madagascar.
Madagascar is open for tourism business.
Madagascar has been experiencing a large outbreak of plague affecting major cities and other non-endemic areas since August 2017