Since the beginning of 2011, the Interprofessional Group of Hotels and Tourism of Nosy Be or GIHTNB has worked to put in place a charter of sustainable tourism. The group had the support of the German cooperation or GIZ (or Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) for this project. At the end of the first half of this year, 29 tourist operators Nosy Be who adhere to the charter in question for the 2011/2012 season. MHO approached one of the members, the Vanila Hotel & Spa, represented by Jean Louis Salles, to collect his impressions.
Madagascar Hotels Online (MHO) : Mr Jean Louis Salles, can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us a little more about your responsibilities at Vanila Hotel & Spa?
Jean Louis Salles (JLS): First of all, I want to thank you for your initiative, which helps to raise the awareness of as many operators as possible to this noble cause.
I am the Manager / Owner of the Vanila Hotel and Spa, a charming hotel of 56 rooms in 3 stars sup. international standards. I manage, with all the wonderful Vanila Hotel team, all the aspects of this activity since the construction and opening of this establishment in 2000.
(MHO): Your impressions about the charter "Nosy Be committed to Sustainable Tourism"? Is Nosy Be going to become the Malagasy destination for sustainable tourism?
(JLS): At the same time I am President of the GIHTNB and therefore in large part, with all the members of the Groupement and the GIZ, at the origin of this charter. The establishment of this Charter had already been strongly desired by the group for a number of reasons:
- Nosy-be is surely one of the places in Madagascar where the most efforts are made to preserve the natural environment (Tanikely protected area, soon Lokobé National Park, protection of Ankazobirano, reforestation, preservation of fauna and flora underwater, large project underway on the collection and treatment of garbage, sensitization on this aspect, fight against oil research projects , etc.), the same for the human environment (an important program for several years on AIDS prevention, on the protection of children, on the fight against sex tourism, on support for associations, on a more integrated more sustained population in the tourism process, on training with the training center and short courses with the support of Unicef.
On the other hand, all these efforts are unknown and especially badly communicated while the specialist consultant who came to set up this charter on Nosy-be, was himself surprised by the quality and the amount of efforts made by the tourist structures. . The implementation of the Charter first allows to communicate on this point and helps to give Nosy-be its true image.
- The second reason is to "raise awareness" of the maximum number of operators to the environment in which they are and to make it clear that there can be no tourist development without a tangible impact on the population; the gap between the two must be closed gradually and the population must be fully integrated into this process. The actions proposed in the Charter are simple, relatively easy to implement, but open the eyes especially to a behavior and an awareness. This is the most important. Then we can go much further.
Will Nosy-be be "the" Malagasy destination of Sustainable Tourism ?? As often, we hope that Nosy-be will be a forerunner in this area and that soon, a large part of Madagascar will follow the example.
(MHO): What made Vanila Hotel adhere to this charter of sustainable tourism? You are also the president of GIHTNB, how do you manage both activities?
(JLS): Vanila Hotel, like other structures on Nosy-be, has always been sensitive to this approach and participates enormously in the social, cultural and environmental aspects of Nosy-be. Its leaders are at the origin of the Donia festival, the training center (CFTH), the implementation of the system of collection and treatment of garbage on the island, the Dzamandzar football school which groups 120 young people, AIDS awareness and actions with Unicef. In 2008, Vanila Hôtel obtained the green label with the second highest rating of all of Northern Madagascar.
It is therefore natural that Vanila Hotel has adhered to this charter.
The chair of GIHTNB is only a continuation of this involvement and allows many projects to be implemented. It is very addictive and I manage it as do all those who get involved: taking the time on my hobbies and on my .. sleep. This is also why I plan to pass the end of September.
(MHO): Concretely, what are the 2011/2012 projects of Vanila Hotel & Spa as part of this charter?
(JLS): Always go further:
- On the environmental aspect by studying a mini wastewater treatment plant so that there are the least possible discharges (even clean) related to the operation. But it will depend on getting a very small land next to the Vanila who has been waiting for 3 years!
- Energy saving on outdoor lighting by switching to solar (currently looking for the right product)
- On the training of staff taking case by case and trying to establish plans for individual progressions. Vanila Hotel is very fond of internal promotions.
- A strong rapprochement with the surrounding population that has already started with an open day on June 2, 2011 with great success.
- More support, with a little funding recently, at the football school for the recruitment and training of educators.
It's not the ideas that are missing, but the current difficult context does not make it possible to do everything.
(MHO): One last message?
(JLS): We need information and communication relays like you so that everyone can understand the reality of the destination. It is for this reason that I wish to thank you sincerely for having understood the importance of your approach;
The efforts made by many must not be ignored or poorly known, because they really deserve to be broadcast in order to stop "false information and a priori".
Nosy-be is a wonderful island with enormous potential and must be one of the engines of Malagasy Tourism. Jealousing and denigrating Nosy-be only slows down Malagasy tourism development.
Many thanks to you for your kind collaboration, MHO wishes you good luck and good luck.
VANILA HOTEL & SPA
BP 325 Nosy Be 207
Such. : +261 20 86 921 01/02 or +261 32 03 921 01