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Arlington, Virginia (December 17, 2008) – Conservation International (CI), working in close collaboration with the National Tourism Board of Madagascar, Responsibletravel.com and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of a 12-day familiarization trip to Madagascar by 12 U.S. and U.K. tour operators.
Supported by funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and following extensive research, key operators from the United Kingdom and United States were invited to Madagascar to learn more about the destination, and to inform the national strategy for ecotourism, poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. The familiarization trip culminated in the presentation of the first ever Madagascar Responsible Tourism Awards.
In addition to viewing the scenic beauty of Madagascar, targeted networking opportunities were provided throughout the familiarization tour to build relationships at the regional and national levels with hoteliers and ground handlers to facilitate future negotiations.
Participants reported a new understanding of both the destination, and the demands of the U.K. and U.S. source markets, which research indicates provides improved yield and therefore improved opportunities for conservation and poverty alleviation in Madagascar.
CI and the project participants are grateful to USAID and the Government of Madagascar for their support of this important initiative, as well as the valued input and contributions of the participating tour operators.
Winners of the Madagascar Responsible Tourism Award:
Travel Flying Services
+261 33 11 177 70 / +261 32 40 199 90
+261 20 53 315 79/ +261 32 11 566 31
Companies Participating in the familiarization trip:
Wildland Adventures www.wildland.com
Geographic Expeditions www.geoex.com
Butterfield & Robinson www.butterfield.com
REI Adventures www.reiadventures.com
Myths & Mountains www.mythsandmountains.com
Blue Ventures www.blueventures.org
Discovery Initiatives www.discoveryinitiatives.co.uk/
The Adventure Company www.adventurecompany.co.uk
For more information, please contact:
National Tourism Board of Madagascar
BP 1780, Ambatomena, Antananarivo
+261 20 22 661 15
Senior Advisor, Ecotourism
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202