This post is one of a long series of post that deals with initiatives implemented by other countries/destinations to boost their tourism. The first post was about Philadelfia’s initiative. Why does this matter? Well, the idea is to bring to Malagasy operators some actual case studies that will help us conceive our own programs.

This post is mainly inspired by a detailed description of published by JournalduNet.

What is

The national tourism office wanted to target young french potential tourists. The idea is to have one Finnish girl publish blogs/podcasts/videos that shows finnish-related topics. The main goal is to change the perception by French people regarding Finland.

The concept: one finnish student living in Paris feels homesick and tries to blog about what finnish things she wants to share. She is using a blog, podcasts, videos uploaded on youtube.

What lessons can we learn from this experience?

– First, this initiative definitely shows that it may be interesting to setup a new website for one action/campaign. In fact, Malagasy operators tend to think that being part of internet is equal to having only one website. Lot of initiatives (Philadelfia USA, ) show that national tourism organizations launch several online initiatives depending on their goals. So Madagascar can have different websites (preferably feeded by authentic users, not by the professionals) that only talks about different themes rather than having multiple websites (made by different entities that provide almost the same data: some Madagascar facts, a directory of professionals, sporadic news, …)

– second: things that interest tourists may not be what profesionals expect. For the case of this Finnish initiative, one of the most successful item was the video of a finnish recipe (downloaded more than two hundred thousand times from youtube)

– third: going Web 2.0 means that you’ ll grab nice comments, but you’ ll also receive some bad comments. The question is more about “how to deal with it”

– forth: the blog entries are written in a very personal way (as opposite to the commercial line for common websites)

So now, back to Madagascar, do we think that Madagascar will ever consider such initiatives for promoting itself as a tourism destination? Your comments/view on this are almost welcome