In Madagascar, the island of Nosy Be reopens its borders to international tourists. On Thursday, the first Ethiopian Airlines plane landed after six difficult months for the tourism sector. Another plane showing full according to the Ministry of Tourism is expected this Saturday.
as reported from Antananarivo,
It is after a PCR test performed as soon as they get off the plane and a 48-hour confinement at their hotel that passengers will be able to enjoy their vacation on this paradise island and its archipelago. Narindraniaina Andrianarivelo is the manager of the hotel Au Sable Blanc.
Far from returning to normal
It welcomes its first customers this Saturday after a six-month halt, but the recovery promises to be scary: “We had terrible months like all our colleagues during the closing of the border. This month, with the reopening of international flights, we hope, but the hope is even lower, because with all the measures introduced, which are normal, tourists are still worried. They are reluctant to make the decision to come this year. We have a few reservations, but we can not say that there are many tourists arriving. ”
She also waits for the planes to return more frequently to try to fill her business: “There are certain sanitary measures that weigh a little on us, such as having to leave the rooms in the air for three hours after a client’s departure. We also hope that there are more airlines, because only with Ethiopian Airlines is it certain that we will not be able to complete our establishment. There are only two or three flights a week and there are more than 200 companies in Nosy Be, so if this situation does not change in January or February, I do not know how we will be able to cope. ”
The goal of regional tourism
The Ministry of Tourism announces a 25% fill rate for hotels with the arrival of the first three aircraft on the island. For Geneviève Larcher, head of the Madavoile company specializing in catamaran cruises in Nosy Be, the European and African passenger flights operated by Ethiopian Airlines do not allow her to restart her activity.
“For us, this is of course a positive sign, but we do not yet have any new reservations to end the season. We are waiting for flights to Reunion to resume. Everything that is regional is important to us because customers from Europe do not necessarily come because of the situation in Europe, which is becoming more complicated, she explains. They’re scared to get stuck here. This is what clients have explained to me, so I think if we have regional flights: Mayotte, Reunion, South Africa, the whole of the Indian Ocean, it can already help us a lot. It can create a stream of tourists who take fewer risks by coming here. ”
According to the Malagasy Ministry of Tourism, the South African airline, AirLink has announced that it intends to resume service to Nosy Be by December.