MAURITIUS RAISES FEES FOR DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING
Information was received from Port Louis that an activity popular with tourists, whale and dolphin watching and ‘swimming with dolphins’ will soon cost a lot more, following a revision of the fee structure levied on excursion operators. Presently costing 1.000 Mauritius Rupees, the new fees will rise to between 5.000 and 10.000 Mauritius Rupees, an increase of between five to tenfold.
Official explanations given for the drastic rise in charges, according to the source in Port Louis was to ensure that such tourist activities remain ‘responsible and sustainable’, reasons dismissed by staff from DMC’s offering such ocean adventure tours as mere ‘profiteering, at a time when Mauritius tourism is already in a crisis. This is NOT the time to raise fees by 500 or 1.000 percent and considering that the fees for skipper licences have also been hiked is just not right’
The same source also expressed fear that similar fee rises might like ambushes still be inflicted on the tourism sector to add more money into the coffers of government. ‘Mauritius has had a challenging year so far, little growth and flopped activities by MTPA like the copy cat move to bring a carnival to Mauritius and then stage a humiliating climbdown. When you face challenges in your main markets, and we will see that next week when we go to WTM in London, you don’t raise rates or fees like that, so much and with almost no notice. People even prebook such activities and may have paid for so who is now absorbing that added cost? The tourist who will complain or the DMC who will operate that tour’.
Can’t argue with that logic for sure. Watch this space for regular updates from the tourism sectors of the Vanilla Islands of Mauritius, La Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte and of course the Seychelles.