Madagascar’s tourism sector continues its recovery at a steady pace. The beginning of the year 2023 looks promising according to the statements of the Minister of Tourism.
The number of tourists at the end of January 2023 has experienced a clear rebound. More than 10,000 tourists or ten times more than during the same period (1,898) than last year have been recorded in the airports.
In 2022, Madagascar recorded 132,018 arrivals of foreign and Malagasy tourists. This number is counted in the airports and in the number of visas issued, says the ministry. About 9% of tourists are Malagasy residing abroad. The French represent 41% of registered tourists, followed by the Italians (13%), the Poles, the Czechs, and the Americans.
For 2023, the Ministry expects a return of international arrivals to the level of 2019 - over 400.000 tourists. The multiplication of the national and international services, the revival and the promotion of the Malagasy destination are as many strategies having allowed to obtain these fruitful results.
The lifting and easing of international travel restrictions has allowed the recovery in the sector. As of April 2022, five main airports were able to receive international and regional flights, namely Antananarivo, Nosy Be, Majunga, Tamatave and Diego.
The government bets on a number of projects to boost Madagascar’s tourism, including the development of local tourism. Tourism in Madagascar depends heavily on international tourists, but if the health crisis has taught the industry anything, it is that local tourism should not be put aside.
Despite some ups and downs, the number of tourists in the country has increased at an average rate of 11% per year except during periods of health crises. In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 77.66 million euros, or about 2.8% of gross national product. With 115,000 tourists at the time, this corresponded to about 675 euros per person.
Within last 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased considerably. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the turnover of 849.49 million euros represented 6.7% of the gross national product (GNP). Each visitor therefore spent an average of 1,748 euros on his or her vacation in Madagascar.
In 2020, the turnover generated by tourists collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the 849.49 million euros (2019), only 176.85 million euros remained. This represented a decrease of 79%.