Travel And Tour World: What is the present scenario of tourism industry in Mauritius vis-à-vis spread of the new COVID variant Omicron?
Lindsay Morvan: Since the reopening of our borders on the 1st October 2021, we have observed a positive trend in the number of tourist arrivals. According to the latest official data available, more than 100, 000 tourists have visited the country for the months of October and November, which represents about 46% of the total tourist arrivals before the pandemic for the same period. We can therefore affirm that the tourism industry is picking up slowly but surely.
The Mauritian government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the security of those travelling to Mauritius and its population. The sanitary protocol has been reinforced at the airport, in tourist residences, including the hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, leisure parks and many other public places. Vaccination pass is mandatory in many public places, including hotels and restaurants.
Travel And Tour World: What are the destinations you are promoting for MICE and leisure tourism?
Lindsay Morvan: Our priority is to capitalize on our main markets such as France, England, Germany, South Africa, India and Saudi Arabia.
Travel And Tour World: Please share a detailed statistics of inbound and outbound tourists of Mauritius.
Lindsay Morvan: Inbound tourists (January 2021 – November 2021): 129, 816
Mauritian residents having travelled abroad between January 2021 – November 2021: 17,288
Our priority for the moment is to increase our market shares on our main target markets, which are mainly France, England, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Middle East Asia and South Africa. We are of course prospecting new markets such as Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Eastern Europe and countries from the Indian Ocean as well.
Europe remains our main market with a total 38, 828 tourists coming from France, 23, 384 from England and 13,101 coming from Germany (Figures are from January to November 2021).
Africa is in the second position with 15,894 tourists visiting Mauritius followed by Asia with a total of 11,166.
However, these figures were much higher before the pandemic. Only for 2019, Mauritius recorded a total of 1,383,488 tourist arrivals among which 853,946 came from Europe (302, 038 from France, 141,520 England, 129,100 from Germany and remaining from other European countries). Tourist arrivals from Africa and Asia amounted to respectively 310, 928 and 189,849.
Travel And Tour World: What kind of hotels are in demand in Mauritius- luxury or midscale?
Lindsay Morvan: Mauritius has a hotel park of more than a hundred hotels that caters for all market segments, starting from 3 stars to 5 stars plus. However, with the pandemic we have observed an increase in demand for 5 stars hotels. This shows that travellers are more concerned about their own-safety and that of their family and friends. As explained previously, Mauritian Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of the travellers and its population as well. To that effect, the sanitary protocol has been reinforced.
Travel And Tour World: What is the average footfall in the hotels during tourism season? What are your plans for the upscale tourists?
Lindsay Morvan: Before the pandemic, we had a hotel occupancy rate of 84% for the month of November and an average of 70% for the remaining months. These figures dropped to an average of 24% last year (2020). Figures for this year have not been finalised yet.
Like many other countries we are moving towards a more sustainable and green tourism. We have witnessed a new trend among travellers who are more concerned about the importance of protecting our environment and our planet for future generations. Calling therefore for more responsible ways of doing business.
At the tourism level, the Tourism Authority with the financial and technical support of the European Union has launched the Sustainable Island programme, which aims at sensitizing the tourism operators on the importance of reviewing their operations so as to reduce their negative impact on the environment mainly by reducing their wastes, using the natural resources in a more responsible way, engaging with the community for the cleaning and greening of their environment including the protection of our biodiversity and also reducing their carbon footprint. We also provide operators with appropriate training to help them achieving these objectives.
Travel And Tour World: What are your agendas for the delegates of the meetings and incentive industry?
Lindsay Morvan: None for the time being since the situation of the Omicron variant seems to be world spread and we cannot predict for how long this situation will prevail.