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 News - 15-Jun-2011

Tourism Contributing To Greater Expansion Of The Mauritian Economy

As the world's economies are slowly recovering from years of general malaise, the rate of economic growth in Mauritius is expected to rise in 2011 quicker than experts had previously expected. According to the Mauritian central bank, economic growth this year should top out somewhere near 4.6%. The central bank considers such growth to be "overheating", prompting rumours that higher interest rates are on the way.

Tourism on the Indian Ocean island is one of the major reasons for the quickly expanding economy. For the first quarter of 2011, the number of visitors to Mauritius was up nearly 5%. According to central bank governor Rundheersing Bheenick, those higher numbers should remain through the end of the year.

"Tourist arrivals are expected to increase to more than 1 million compared with 934,827 visitors in 2010," he said, "and export receipts rose to the highest level in more than five years in the first quarter."

In addition, with most of the foreign currency in Mauritius earned from travellers primarily from Europe, inflation is expected to ease from more than 7% down to about 5% this year. For government officials this is a dichotomy of sorts in that the good tourism numbers will play a role in both rising interest rates and reduced inflation. Yet aside from government monetary policy, all of this is good news for an industry that has suffered during the economic downturn.

Couples looking for a romantic Mauritius honeymoon are among the many helping the rebound. The Indian Ocean is especially attractive for honeymoons and weddings because of its naturally romantic surroundings. Long walks on white sandy beaches, accompanied by stunning sunsets and wonderful night life have long been the dream of couples anticipating their wedding. And nothing makes for a better honeymoon than spending a few weeks in a private luxury suite perched over a peaceful blue lagoon.

Beyond the stunning weather and natural surroundings, Mauritius also offers plenty to do for families and large groups. The island is known for its exquisite golf courses and long list of water sports. For history lovers the island is alive with the colonial influences of Europe and the rich traditions of India, Africa, and Asia. All come together to create a cultural atmosphere that is uniquely Mauritian. In fact, Mauritian locals will tell you that there's no other place like it on earth.

The proof of the resurgent Mauritian tourist trade can be seen in other ways too. For example, airlines are taking advantage of the increased numbers by offering a schedule of new flights. Several daily flights were added to Heathrow late last year and new flights from Asia are expected to begin in February of 2012.

There are even new resorts being planned for the island as evidenced by the recent announcement that Centara has reached an investment deal with two private equity funds that will result in two new luxury properties being opened by the end of 2012. All of this translates to plenty more travellers who should have no trouble pushing the numbers over the 1 million mark for 2010.

For the Mauritian economy, this is all extremely good news. It may take some time for interest rates and inflation to balance out to a comfortable level, but they both will in the end. Meanwhile, there's plenty of room for Europe's holiday travellers to experience all that Mauritius has to offer.

Airworld Tours, the luxury holiday company based in the UK, is your source for a great deal on a romantic Mauritius honeymoon or other holiday package.

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