Ecotourism

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Velondriake Ecotourism Plan
Introduction
Velondriake is a region consisting of 25 small villages located in southwest Madagascar. It is situated approximately 150 km north of the regional capital of Toliara and 45 km south of Morombe. The area is characterized by long white beaches, lagoons and coral reefs along the coast, unique spiny forests, bird life and a distinct Vezo culture. Velondriake’s location is very remote and accessibility is limited by poor roads and infrastructure. Madagascar’s southwest coast supports some of the largest coral reef systems in the western Indian Ocean. These reefs do not only provide critical habitat to thousands of marine species, but are also essential to the cultural identity of the indigenous Vezo people who rely on healthy marine resources for food, transportation and income. However, coastal populations are growing rapidly and international fishery companies have begun exploiting the region’s waters through a sophisticated collection network to supply an expanding export market. As a result local fishermen have reported declines in the size and number of their catches in the last years. The people of Velondriake consider the viability of ecotourism as an additional livelihood option for their fishing community, in the context of the development of the dwindling marine resources. Earning extra income from tourism, which depends on a healthy marine environment, is necessary to ensure the future well-being of the population and the protection of their environment. Local people need to benefit significantly from tourism if they are to support its development and support conservation of the resources tourism depends on. Tourism in Velondriake has little local impact; employment or service provision by local people to tourists is minimal and tourists generally do not spend directly in the villages. For tourism to benefit conservation and development, greater local benefits need to be realised.

Vision
* In a few years time ecotourism provides a major contribution to the economical situation of the local population, which has led to a decreasing pressure on marine resources through fisheries and stimulates the development of infrastructure. Despite of the growing number of visitors and duration of their stay, tourism has a positive effect on its environmental surrounding as it is used as a conservation tool. Local people are able to work in tourism activities and communicate with tourists in order to provide a satisfying tourist experience and learn from tourist through interaction.

Objective
* To provide a specific framework for sustainable tourism development in Velondriake

Key Objectives
1. Establish a tourism association to manage tourism development Actions for this key objective include :
• Translate the Velondriake Ecotourism Plan in French and Malagasy for further understanding; • Organize the first series of meetings;
• Evaluate all key objectives;
• Draw up a tourism policy statement.
2. Set up a monetary system to gain overall revenue from tourism Actions to be implemented under this key objective include : • Discuss the best way to secure a tourist fee;
• Discuss the right amount which is acceptable for both Velondriake and the tourists; • Formalize an agreement of collecting the tourist fee in a signed document by members of the VTA; • Set an administration system for the fee collection;

• Draw up goals on where investments are made.

3. Construct a community eco-lodge
Actions to be implemented under this key objective include:
• Research how to construct the eco-lodge;
• Provide an architectural design plan for the construction; • Provide a business plan for the eco-lodge
• Calculate and find financial resources for the construction; • Construct the eco-lodge;
• Assign staff and management for daily operations.

4. Improve transportation infrastructure to increase the accessibility Actions to be...
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