Mauritius Tourism Minister optimist about holiday industry growth for 2011
The Tourism Minister of Mauritius is confident that initial estimates for tourists booking Mauritius holidays in 2011 are expected to exceed as the Indian Ocean nation is attracting more visitors from Asian countries.
The recent increase in the number of Asian travellers taking Mauritius holidays is set to exceed the initial estimates of visitor arrivals in Mauritius for 2011, according to Mauritius Tourism Minister Nandcoomar Bodha.
Bodha explained: "If things go the way we are planning them, conservative growth of 4 percent is achievable. The industry expanded by about 7 percent in 2010."
The statistics agency announced that the number of travellers expected to take Mauritius holidays in 2011 would be approximately 950,000, bringing revenue of 41 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) to the Indian Ocean nation. However, Bodha estimates that with the increase of visitors form Asia, the estimate will be higher.
Tourism in Mauritius saw a recent decline after the economic crisis in Europe put a hold on many European travellers visiting the French-speaking island and staying in Mauritius hotels. The island heavily relies on travellers from Europe who make up two thirds of Mauritius' visitors but the Euro weakened to the dollar by 6.6 percent last year. Mauritius tourism officials are keen to regain these travellers and will be investing 300 million rupees into tourism marketing promotions in Europe.
Bodha said: "With the euro crisis, long-haul destinations have suffered the most. Mauritius is 11 hours away and there is competition from other Indian Ocean islands such as Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. We must therefore consolidate our main market."
Despite the decline in European travellers, the Indian Ocean island is expecting to see an increase in travellers from China, India and Russia.
"There is a necessity to diversify," Bodha added. "That's why we are targeting the dollar market. The aim is to welcome a total of 150,000 tourists from these economies by 2012. A budget of 100 million rupees is to be spent on campaigns for 2011."
The national carrier, Air Mauritius, will be providing flights to and from China by the middle of 2011 so that Asian travellers can enjoy direct flights for their holidays in Mauritius. The airline is also considering setting up a hub in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong.
Mauritius Tourism officials are also promoting the beautiful island nation Indian couples who are looking to plan their weddings abroad.
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