Madagascar plans to relaunch tourism sector

Madagascar's outgoing president Andry Rajoelina greets the crowds during a presidential handover ceremony at Iavoloha Presidential Palace in Antananarivo on January 24, 2014. Rajoelina stood down, symbolically handing over power ahead of his elected successor's inauguration, a move designed to steer the Indian Ocean island out of crisis. AFP PHOTO / RIJASOLO (Photo credit should read RIJASOLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina planned the partially reopening of tourism sector in October this year, a statement from the presidency said on Friday.

During his meeting with tourism operators from the island of Nosy Be, Rajoelina said that the government will study and deepen the measures which could accompany this partially reopening, including the possibility of the requirement for tourists to take a pre-boarding test of COVID-19 as well as a rapid test on arrival.

In addition, the government intends to promote and support workers in this sector by a training program, he added.

Rajoelina said that negotiations are underway with the Emirates for the link between Dubai and Nosy Be.

Nosy Be could increase the capacity from 80,000 tourists per year up to 100,000 or 200,000 tourists, he added.

In Madagascar, tourism has been hit by COVID-19, according to the Economic and Development Board of Madagascar, which added only about 48 percent of businesses in the tourism sectors remained open during the lockdown and 97 percent of businesses in the sector registered a decline of its turnovers.