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Can Madagascar benefit from the celebrity factor?

November 1, 2008
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So Stephen Fry is currently travelling, and filming, in Madagascar for a documentary called ‘Last chance to see’.

I think it’s out in autumn 2009, and the series sees him documenting some of the rarest animals on the planet.

There are quite a few of them in Madagascar, so he’s in a good place.

So why write about this? Well, there’s a certain effect on tourism that a celebrity presence in that country has.

Recently, there was Joanna Lumley in the Arctic Circle region, and sales to the region rose considerably on the back of the BBC show, obviously called ‘Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights’. Hurtigruten, a cruise company, saw sales rocket.

During my backpacking days, I spent two months travelling around Madagascar. It’s an amzing place; spectacular rainforests and beaches, and nothing goes to plan. It’s chaotic to get around as the roads often get flooded, vehicles break down etc… perfect for agents and operators to step in and package up holidays for the more adventurous.

Not too many operators go there (Kuoni is one company that does). So I really hope that either the Madagascar tourist board, or operators, tap into ‘Last chance to see’ next year, as it’s such a great place.

Obviously the publicity of the country is going to help, but I’m sure more focused advertising campaigns could really help.

So, how did I know Stephen Fry was in Madagascar. Twitter, of course! He’s probably one of the most ‘followed’ Tweeters out there (over 13,000), and it’s fair to say he’s mastered the art.

His humour really comes through, and you can follow his thoughts here. His website his here.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 8:29 am

    Just discovered your article.
    I think we, in Madagascar, can do a lot more better about the “celebrity factor”, but my personal view is that we don’t know how to do it. I personally am keen on learning from any material on how to get the most out of it as Madagascar has hosted a lot of celebrities and events but it seems like we are still disconnected from the effects of those events: ranging from two worldwide cartoon hits from dreamworks, to famous musicians (Jimmy Cliff, …),actors (Ashley Judd, Jim carrey, …), top models, or all kind of video/film producers (you are mentioning Stephen Fry, but we also the “home” by Yann Arthus Bertrand)… I guess the list is countless… But we may need some coaching on how to leverage those …

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