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 News - 20-Dec-2012

Mauritius Tourist Industry Welcomes Expanded Flight Paths

The Mauritius tourist industry has welcomed the news of the number of flights being expanded to China and New Zealand; two major tourist hotspots it wants to target as part of its massive global promotional campaign. These routes are due to start in the coming months and will bring in thousands more tourists to enjoy Mauritius luxury holidays , according to the tourism ministry.

The national airline of Mauritius, Air Mauritius, is adding another weekly flight to Shanghai from January 24 2013. Currently, it only operates one weekly flight and thus restricts the tourist flow between these two destinations. With the additional flight due to increased demand representatives of the tourist industry expect a major influx of demand.

Alongside the current route from China's business heart and the Mauritius, connections landing in Madagascar and South Africa further enhance the external transport infrastructure of the country.

Air Mauritius released figures on the impact of their first weekly flight to Shanghai from the Mauritius in July of 2011. They said since then demand from the Chinese market has increased by 38.3%; in terms of the number of arrivals from China.

Michael Sik Yuen, the Tourism Minister for the Mauritius, said between January and September of 2012 the number of Chinese tourists was 15,430. This number is also expected to increase as a result of the 300 percent capacity increase of the flights with the A340

Fly Emirates will also add a larger number of flights to the island from New Zealand with double daily flights beginning from December 2 2012. The Boeing 777-300 conducts these flights and allows connections to Dubai on a daily basis.

The Senior Vice President for Fly Emirates’ West Asia Indian Ocean sector, Ahmed Khoory commented on the impact of these frequent flights: "The increase in frequencies will undoubtedly create more opportunities for the Mauritian tourism sector and local economy," He continued to tout the draw of the island as a tourist destination: "The island destination is very popular throughout our network and double daily flights will offer even more flexibility to travellers."

This move signals an increase in the amount of collaboration between the country and the global airline. Both parties signed an agreement to actively promote the destination across Emirates' global network. Such an amount of global publicity has helped the Mauritius to compete with other destinations in the Indian Ocean, such as the Seychelles and Madagascar, with figures of 965,000 tourists in 2011, which highlights a 3.2% increase in tourist numbers over 2010.

Khoory described the importance of the Mauritius as a tourist destination: "The island destination is an important one for Emirates. We have committed ourselves towards promoting Mauritius and we will drive our efforts in this direction as the island becomes more accessible,"

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