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Interview Serge Latour of GIHTNB, Nosy Be Tourism Professional Group

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Nosy Be or the island of perfumes, a destination that makes foreigners dream as much as national tourists. The discovery of this destination often extends to neighboring islands, also containing exotic natural resources. Visitors have a wide range of activities, especially nautical (diving, cruises and sea trips, fishing, etc.). As many potentials as the GIHTNB strives to enhance.

Madagascar Hotels Online (MHO): Mr. Serge Latour, thank you for agreeing to answer our questions. First, what is the NBGHIB, and what role do you play in this organization? 

Serge Latour (SL): It is the group of tourist operators of Nosy-be that is responsible for defending the interests of the tourism sector in all areas: Training, Security, Environment, Sanitary, Social, Administrative and Tax, Relations with administrations and the state.
The aim is to improve the tourist environment as much as possible in order to promote the development of the sector. The group is composed of contributing members, an office with active members who are responsible for the commissions and where everyone is a volunteer and an administrative officer who is paid. The resources of the group are essentially the subscriptions, the sale of tourist guides and the subsidies obtained from NGOs or backers for specific projects. The group does not deal with the communication, image and promotion of Nosy Be, task assigned to the Regional Office of Tourism.
My role is to make the GIHTNB known via a "Communication" commission. See our website which has just been updated: www.gihtnb.com

(MHO): What are the concrete activities and projects of the group for the promotion of tourism in Nosy Be?

SL: The GIHTNB has set up for several years the Regional Tourist Office of Nosy-be whose main role is to ensure the promotion and communication of Nosy Be and look after the image of this destination. It is therefore the office that deals with this component.
The GIHTNB is responsible for preserving the interests of all operators, improving the tourist environment and working for it together with the authorities and associations.
Its action is in various fields: training, safety, environment, AIDS prevention, child protection, fight against sex tourism, infrastructure, taxation and many more.

(MHO): For a tourist operator in the Nosy Be region, what would be the point of becoming members of the GIHTNB?

SL: It is understandable with all the above that the GIHTNB is only intended to promote the tourist environment of the island of Nosy Be and its neighboring islands and therefore to promote the arrival of tourists. This benefits all operators and all those who have a structure on Nosy-be have a lot of interest in participating in these actions.
In addition, the Groupement provides information and support to its members who are very interesting. We started to publish and publish a newsletter regularly. The purpose of this newsletter is to make known the GIHTNB and the actions it leads, with Tourisques Operators of Nosy Be and TO, travel agencies and all those who are interested in this destination.

(MHO): The Lokobe Lodge, a hotel at the same time training center in tourism: here is an original concept and which is also appreciated by our Mahorais friends. Can you tell us more about this project between the training center and the General Council of Mayotte?

SL: This training center is highly desired by all operators on Nosy-be for a long time. It has been in existence for several years and finally came into being in 2008 to accommodate some 60 students who graduated (for part) after two years of training. We must thank the Swiss Foundation which made the premises available, the General Council of the Oise and the Picardy Region in France who financed the infrastructures, and the ICP which financed the repair of the road and catering equipment.
The General Council of Mayotte, very pleasantly surprised by this structure and having great training needs also in this area, decided to sign a partnership agreement with the center to train 10 Mahorais per year and especially to make the center a center regional training including Madagascar, Mayotte, the Comoros and probably Reunion. We want to make it a model center in this part of the Indian Ocean and we will give it the means.
This center currently has more than 40 students and is a chance for Malagasy youth in the region as well as for tourism operators. It is some members of the group who are at the initiative of the project and who currently manage the operation. The center, while being a training center, is also a center of application and a hotel like the others.

(MHO): Do you have a last message for our readers?

SL: The group, anxious to bring the tourism sector closer to the population and local realities, is currently working on setting up a charter to "raise awareness" of operators to the environment in which they operate and to simple actions, but concrete measures to be implemented in order to respect this environment, both human and natural.
We participated in the Enjoy lounge from Tana in early December in partnership with GTZ. International cooperative society that works in sustainable development and represented by Mr. Danny Denolf. The GTZ (www.gtz.de) has more than 12,000 employees scattered throughout the 128 countries in which the organization operates.
The establishment of a label, even more committed in this way, will follow.

GIHTNB
Interprofessional Group of Hotels and Tourism of Nosy Be
SPPM building
Rue Raimbault Camp-Vert
Nosy Be 207 - MADAGASCAR
Email: info@gihtnb.com
Web: www.gihtnb.com
Such. : + 261 32 79 930 33

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