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 News - 23-May-2013

Mauritius Royal Raid Boosts Sports Tourism

The annual Royal Raid race in Mauritius has gained immense popularity on the island. At the close of 2013's race last Saturday, officials declared it a resounding success for the profile of the island and Mauritius luxury holidays. The Royal Raid event included a record number of participants, which included two world champions of mountain climbing. There were three races of 80 km, 35 km, and 15 km in the southwest of the island. Over 600 people collectively took part in the races.

The action commenced at 5 am at the Casela Bird Park for the 80 km race. Afterwards, the 15 km began at 8 am from Watook Plaine Champagne. The 35 km race started the next day at 7 am from Jet Ranch.

This mountain trail competition was rebranded as the Lux*RoyalRaid for 2013. It saw the participation of Salomon Team International's Iker Karerra, who is one of the top eight climbers in the world. He has a portfolio ranging from the Annecy Ultra Trail 2011 to the Ultra Trail de Rialp 2010.

The Ministry of Tourism considers the participation of such prominent figures as a success for the competition. They believe that by attracting the world’s best, they encourage ordinary mountain trail runners to participate alongside them. Anticipation for the 2014 event is already growing, and officials expect even more world-class athletes to consider participating.

The emphasis on the RoyalRaid event is due to the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority's (MTPA) desire to promote eco-tourism and the natural beauty of the country. Green tourism attracts more tourists than ever before, and the country wants to be the leading provider of green tourism in the Indian Ocean region.

Dr Karl Mootoosamy, the Director of the MTPA, held the event’s press conference in the headquarters of the MTPA. He highlighted the importance of holding top sporting events in the country.

He went on to say that it would demonstrate to the world that Mauritius could handle major events. Moreover, it would offer valuable references for the island when it attends major travel fairs around the world.

The MTPA fully backs the RoyalRaid. It was rebranded with the 'Lux' name due to its new sponsor, Lux* Island Resorts Ltd. It is further sponsored by Ramasssa and Vital * Pepsi. Minor sponsors include Swan Insurance, Salomon Reunion, and Anglo-Mauritius Assurance.

It is not the first time the MTPA has pushed for more sports tourism. Recently, it marketed its championship-quality golf courses. It announced the building of more courses, and resorts, to deal with increasing tourist numbers.

In particular, Mauritius wants to create its own unique event. It posted stagnant numbers in 2012, and it wants to hit one million tourism arrivals in 2013. It is also competing with the Maldives and the Seychelles, both of which are gaining ground and winning major international travel awards.

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