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 News - 12-Apr-2013

Mauritius Mulls Over India Tourism Growth

Mauritius is reacting to unexpected growth from the Indian market in the first months of 2013. The country is also considering increasing the number of flights to the subcontinent, in an attempt to take advantage of the unprecedented growth.

The general trend is not anything new. Since 2000, the country has experienced a steady-year-on-year growth from India. A year-on-year increase of 14 per cent was recorded between 2000 and 2009. From 2009-2011, at the height of the global economic recession, this increased by a further 19 per cent. Encouragingly for this small island nation is these results come at a time where economic growth is slow in India.

The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) completed a roadshow to the Indian city of Bangalore this week. Here, the board wants to target tourists to guarantee growth over the next few years. As well as the MTPA, a number of major hoteliers and tour operators accompanied the roadshow to better tailor their services to this market.

Officials from the MTPA are determined to promote adventure holidays and a number of unique activities like skydiving, underwater walks, golf, and surfing. It also wants to advertise its 'self-drive' option where tourists can rent transport and get themselves around the island.

The deputy director for the MTPA, Vijaye Haulder, spoke about Mauritius luxury holidays and alternate sources of traffic, "Mauritius is also well known for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) owing to the convention capacity, luxurious accommodation and world-class facilities and infrastructure there." He further emphasised the importance of Bangalore as a vital part of the country’s growth strategy in India.

To take full advantage of the 19 per cent growth from India, Mauritius is deciding whether to increase the number of commercial flights to and from the country.

In December 2013, plans have already been drawn to implement another flight from Mumbai. Moreover, the country has the approval to run 14 flights each week. Mr Haulder told the Business Standard he wanted to act quickly in order to handle the increasing Indian demand.

Currently, Air Mauritius has seven flights a week from India - one from Bangalore and Chennai, two from Delhi, and four from Mumbai.

Indian growth has bucked the trend of many other tourism sectors. European growth has slowed to a halt, and has dropped in many cases, but Indian tourism appears to have remained unaffected.

In particular, the country is putting faith in its wedding and honeymoon packages. Due to the Indian culture of extravagant weddings, it is hoping to take advantage of this with luxury hotels and once-in-a-lifetime activities. As already mentioned, it also wants to consolidate its hold on traffic from the MICE sector. The concept of luxury meeting rooms and taking the board of directors on a trip to an exotic country like this is becoming an increasingly popular option.

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