Increased Chinese migration is helping Mauritius build a multi billion-dollar tourism industry

Like most other islands, Mauritius lacks the natural resources and population to generate sustainable revenue. Tourism, therefore, has become a critical source of foreign exchange for the Indian Ocean Island. With its exotic spas and beaches, it continues to attract foreigners in their numbers every year, mostly from China and Europe.

Since the global financial crunch of the 2000s, the profile of Mauritius’ visitors has changed to include more Chinese tourists as European visits continuously declined. However, the number of European arrivals have grown to 169,129, an 11.5 percent increase from 2014.

Like Seychelles, Mauritius deliberately woos Asian tourists to compensate for the historic decline in the European visitors. “Tourism earnings for the year 2015 will be around 48.50 billion rupees ($1 billion) compared to 44.30 billion in 2014,” Statistics Mauritius said in a statement.

It revealed that visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2015 rose by 10.6 percent to 291,329, with recent projections placing expected visits for the year at 1.1 million, a 5.9 percent increase from 2014. The Island also recorded a 3 percent increase in its year-on-year tourism revenues, earning 11.86 billion rupees ($339 million) in the first quarter of 2015. Occupancy rate further climbed to 73 percent, from 68 percent during the same period under review. The upsurge has been attributed to more arrivals on the island over the period.

According to the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, Mauritius ranks 70th globally and 3rd in Africa as the top destinations for tourists. The ranking factored in four indexes including the environment, natural and cultural resources, travel and tourism policy and enabling, and infrastructure.

Mauritius can further bolster its tourism turnover by adopting similar strategies deployed by other islands including an expansion of its tourism offerings in tandem with market needs, launching aggressive and targeted marketing campaigns and maintaining a visa policy that doesn’t scare away potential visitors.

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