Macolline forest joins African Tourism Board

The African Tourism Board (ATB) is pleased to announce that Macolline forest in Northeastern Madagascar has joined ATB as a member.

Macolline is a 25-acre native forest in a region of Northeastern Madagascar founded by Marie-Helene Kam Hyo. Founded in 2001, Macolline is open to receive tourists, students, and scientists. For an entertaining full day, the site features a walking trail, a pirogue (dugout canoe) ride through rice fields and rainforest and a brickyard and end the day with a delicious picnic facing the Indian Ocean.

This area has experienced intensive degradation for over a century, and Macolline has been committed to the protection and reforestation of native Malagasy species in accordance with UNESCO’s conservation priorities. The maintenance of Macolline provides jobs for many villagers, so any money raised for Macolline helps to support (CALA) the Comité d’Aide aux Lépreux d’Antalaha (Leprosy Relief Committee of Antalaha).

The founder of Macolline, Marie-Helene Kam Hyo, said:

“In addition to the traditional activities of the tourist park, the site seeks to increase the awareness to the various Malagasy forest species like medicinal plants and their uses. The site also allows each visitor to plant a tree and thus contributing to the preservation of the site and threatened species and also contributing to reforestation. This is especially needed here on the east coast of Madagascar where the forests are strongly threatened.”

Macolline is a combination of natural preservation, protection, and enhancement of the Malagasy environment. The site includes a 10-hectare hill consisting of species of primary (original) forest, fruit trees, and commercial species. Along a river and facing the Indian Ocean, 3 km from the town of Antalaha, Macolline is an exceptional site for nature lovers, students, scientists, and botanists.

Juergen Steinmetz, member of the African Tourism Board Steering Committee and Chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners known as ICTP, said:

“Africa needs its own voice in the global travel and tourism industry. With 54 countries, many more cultures, and a wealth of attractions, it’s still a continent to be discovered. Our vision is to have ATB be based in every member destination and in every source market. This will create a global network for Africa and enables every base to interact with one another.

“We invite stakeholders to have an email address or website on our platform. This will raise confidence among consumers and provide a chance for small- to medium-sized businesses in Africa to do business in source markets.

“Tourism means responsibilities and sustainability, and tourism means business, investments, and should mean prosperity. And this is where the African Tourism Board can be of great help. With our steering committee formed, the African Tourism Board goal is to convert this initiative into a stand-alone organization by April 2019.

Founded in 2018, the African Tourism Board is an association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region.

The  African Tourism Board is part of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

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Linda Hohnholz