The tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic (Covid-19). The number of tourists worldwide is expected to drop by 3% in 2020. This is apparent from initial estimates from the World Tourism Organization. This also has an impact on Madagascar.
The losses from this decline
Globally, across the entire tourist chain (air transport, business and leisure tourism, travel agencies, tour operators, tour sites, accommodation, events, catering) the shortfall is already 100 billion dollars.
For Madagascar, the association of Madagascar travel agencies has just released a survey. They report a 50% decrease in average income. It also announces 30% cancellations and 70% postponements.
But the situation is not about to improve. With the worsening situation in Italy, a charter for Italy, scheduled for March 16, is unlikely to land. Flights from France may also be suspended. Knowing that those of China and Italy have already been suspended.
Are there any cases registered in Madagascar?
Despite the warnings, since January 25, 2020, 34 people have been hospitalized at the Anosiala University Hospital Center. Four of these cases were suspected of being positive. But after in-depth analyzes and reviews, they turned out to be negative.
To date, more than 28 individuals have left the hospital and nine remain under observation. We can, therefore, conclude that the virus has not yet reached the Big Island yet. Tourists have nothing to fear.
The Malagasy government response to the epidemic
The target of welcoming 500,000 tourists a year will not yet be reached this year. Worse, travel professionals rightly fear a significant drop in the number of tourist arrivals.
A gloomy prospect, in short, for tourism in Madagascar. And for the Malagasy economy in general, since in the general policy of the State, the tourism sector is among the pillars of the emergence of Madagascar.
Pending the revival of tourism, which will take a few more years, now is the time to take measures to prevent the country from being hit by Covid-19. The government is mobilizing to deal with it.
Fortunately, Madagascar has so far registered no known cases of coronavirus. This does not, however, prevent officials from taking the necessary preventive measures.
Passenger controls at port and airport borders are strengthened. In short, the watchword is now healthy above all. And this, even if there is general panic on the side of the actors of the tourism sector. It is due to the proximity of the high season.