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 News - 14-May-2013

Mauritius Confirms Carnival And Fiesta Cancellation


Both the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) and the Ministry of Tourism confirmed that following a long consultation the Shopping Fiesta and Carnival would not go ahead in 2013.


The news comes after many weeks of speculation over the future of the event. Rather than focusing on the beaches and warm waters surrounding the island, it targeted the inner cities in an attempt to show a different side of the country. Over the past few years, Mauritius has worked to open as many activities as possible. This, they hope, would enhance Mauritius luxury holidays. In 2012, the Shopping Fiesta and Carnival debuted. Mauritius Minister Michael Sik Yuen said it required too much organisation to pull off successfully, though. In answer to Kavi Ramano, a member of the National Assembly, the Minister added how the returns were not worth the amount of time and effort it took to organise the event.


He did confirm the country benefitted from increased visibility. The difficulty of staging such an event is that it is almost impossible to determine exactly how much of a positive effect it had. Although the amount of interest definitely bolstered revenues in the Grand Baie and Port Louis areas, there are no exact figures available.


The news about the cancellation came as very little shock to most observers. They claimed the country did not receive much benefit from holding the shopping festival. According to critics of the festival, it didn’t boost the number of people coming to the towns and cities. They said levels remained relatively normal.


There is still some controversy over the fate of the Mauritian Shopping Fiesta Lottery. Initially, the government was hoping to make the draw in December 2012, but due to lack of tickets sold, the date was moved to May 2013. Currently, only a quarter of the available 8,000 tickets have been sold. The latest figures say the failure of the lottery has cost the government some 14 million rupees.


Another major obstacle hampering the event is the competition between it and the annual Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival in the Seychelles. This veteran event only served to draw tourists away from potentially visiting Mauritius during the Shopping Fiesta and Carnival.


Some government representatives say the cancellation of the event will inevitably help them. For one, they can put more of their resources into a good showing at the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival. Finally, this will help them build bridges with some of the other countries in the Vanilla Islands organisation.


With the abolition of this event, Mauritius wants to work on some of its other initiatives. This includes gaining a better foothold in the emerging markets of China and India, as well as promoting rental cars and bicycles so tourists can explore more of the island with relative ease.


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