Original Research

Tourism and conservation in Madagascar: The importance of Andasibe National Park

David Newsome, Shannon Hassell
Koedoe | Vol 56, No 2 | a1144 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1144 | © 2014 David Newsome, Shannon Hassell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 February 2013 | Published: 24 June 2014

About the author(s)

David Newsome, School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Australia
Shannon Hassell, School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Australia

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Madagascar is renowned for high levels of biodiversity and endemism. As a result of its unique flora and fauna, as well as the high levels of human threat to the environment, such as illegal clearing, hunting and political instability, it is a critical global conservation priority. Andasibe–Mantadia National Park in eastern Madagascar is one of the most popular protected areas visited by tourists. Observations carried out in 2011 showed that even though there were some negative impacts associated with natural-area tourism, the benefits to both the local communities and associated biological conservation outweighed the negatives. Natural-area tourism at Andasibe is well organised, with many local guide associations having partnerships with international organisations and 50% of park fees going directly to local communities. Forest loss is a widespread problem in Madagascar, but at Andasibe the forest is valued for its ecological function and as a generator of profits from natural-area tourism. Exploitation of the park was not observed. Andasibe is an example of how conservation and natural-area tourism can work together in Madagascar for the benefit of local communities and the environment. However, with the current unstable political climate and lack of adequate wider tourism and conservation planning frameworks, awakening to its potential as a leading conservation tourism destination will not be a simple task.

Conservation implications: This research demonstrated that ecotourism can be an effective means of achieving conservation objectives, whilst, at the same time, improving the livelihoods of local people. We caution, however, that governments can do a lot more to encourage and support the nexus between tourism and conservation.


Conservation tourism, Madagascar, biological conservation, local communities, national parks


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Crossref Citations

1. Poverty not taste drives the consumption of protected species in Madagascar
Samuel D. Merson, Luke J. Dollar, Paul J. Johnson, David W. Macdonald
Biodiversity and Conservation  vol: 28  issue: 13  first page: 3669  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1007/s10531-019-01843-3