Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fair Trade Tourism puts the “Mark of a Good Holiday” next to five newly certified tourism businesses in Madagascar

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) promotes responsible and sustainable tourism in southern Africa and beyond. The NGO operates the world’s first and still only Fair Trade Tourism certification programme. The programme was developed 10 years ago and in December 2011 became the first tourism certification programme in Africa to be recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

FTT is now proud to announce the recent certification of five Madagascar tourism businesses. With lemurs, baobabs, rainforest, beaches, desert, trekking and diving, Madagascar is a dream destination for nature and outdoor lovers – and half the fun is getting to all these incredible attractions.

Located on one of the most beautiful bays of Madagascar, with white sandy beaches, coral reefs with enchanting colours and well preserved primary forest, is Salary Bay, the first Madagascar tourism business to receive FTT-certification.
Not far from Salary Bay is the luxury eco-lodge, Hotel Le Paradisier. Overlooking the beach, Hotel Le Paradisier has been carefully designed to harmonise with the landscape, the lodge environs featuring stone pathways lined with fascinating spiny forest plants.

Mantasoa Lodge, is a boutique hotel on the beautiful Lake Mantasoa, not far from the capital city of  Antananariva.
BushHouse Lodge is a small eco-lodge located in the east coast Toamasina region of Madagascar, within the Canal des Pangalanes Lake District, where fresh water lakes merge with the Indian Ocean.

Lying in the Tsaranoro Valley, Tsara Camp offers perfect comfort in completely secluded settings with tented rooms.
These tourism businesses all adhere to the FTT standard and use the FTT label as a way of signifying their commitment to fair and responsible tourism.  This includes fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.

Specific initiatives range from contributing to the education of children in the local communities and offering health clinics on their premises to working with local fishermen and fish farmers, in order to support them in making their businesses more profitable and more resilient. Recognizing the importance of preserving the local farming sector and increasing the value generated from agriculture, FTT-certified businesses provide local farmers with the necessary tools as well as sharing technical and commercial knowledge with them.  The businesses are also dedicated to water and energy savings and make use of local handicrafts to decorate their rooms.

FTT General Manager, Kathy Bergs said, “We are absolutely thrilled that the FTT footprint is now visible in Madagascar.  These businesses are all pioneers of sustainable tourism and exemplify the FTT values of fair share, fair say, respect, reliability, transparency and sustainability.  We encourage responsible travelers to experience the best that Madagascar has to offer – while at the same time giving back to the people and the places they’ve visited.”

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