MAURITIUS TOURISM REVENUES DOWN BY 12 PERCENT IN FIRST QUARTER
Figures just out about Mauritius’ tourism revenues, which show a decline of arrivals during Q1 of 2013 by 12.4 percent, have caused a storm of outrage across the island’s tourism sector, and from calls and emails it is clear that the knives are now out for those thought responsible for the reverse of fortunes of the Indian Ocean’s erstwhile tourism giant. While arrivals for the same period are still up by 1.5 percent, according to the same sources, it is clear that those tourists coming to Mauritius are not the heavy spenders compared to the island’s European core markets, which have again declined by a staggering 7.5 percent vis a vis the first quarter of 2012. Forecasts for the entire year 2013 are now being revised to just about 900.000, compared to earlier expectations of 1 million arrivals, projecting a critical occupancy drop for the resorts already struggling to stay within financially viable occupancy range.
‘I know you are often blamed as very negative towards MTPA, but from where I stand you have reported nothing but the truth. Our country’s tourism industry is led down a dead end road by the MTPA leadership. They have failed us. We have lost our leader position to the Maldives and the way things are going, Sri Lanka will overtake us this year to take the runner up spot for most tourist arrivals. Every action by Karl has failed to generate additional traffic. Our markets have seen that we used copy and paste for carnival and the festival of the sea and reacted. They are going to the original places where these activities were conceived and developed. For us in Mauritius all we have to show for is a lot of money spent and nothing in return.
When Seychelles in 2008/9 looked at a steep decline, they acted decisively. They removed those responsible and brought in a new team. We must do the same here and with no delay. If we want to survive as a tourism industry, fundamental change has to come. Our resorts are suffering from lower occupancies, the airlines are suffering from lower load factors if the new arrival projections become reality and that is the truth. We have to go back to our core strengths, and we have many or we would never have reached the top and stayed there for so long.
We got fabulous beaches, fabulous luxury 5 star resorts and we have a lot of history on Mauritius worth exploring. We have forests and sugar cane factories worth visiting, to see how rum is being made and our people are fundamentally friendly to tourists from abroad. We have golf, deep sea fishing, diving on offer and our air connections are world class too. Emirates comes twice a day, so we can be reached from anywhere around the world with one stop in Dubai. Air Mauritius was crowned as leading Indian Ocean airline and we are modernizing our airport. There is a lot to build on but we need new builders, a new contractor. The present people have failed Mauritius in a big way’ said a regular source with insight into the reality of the fragmented and divided tourism industry of the island.
Worth watching and waiting for those long expected and equally overdue changes it seems but for sure, Mauritius was and remains for many a favourite destination and is truly worth visiting. And those looking for special deals, this surely is the time to find excellent bargains and get a holiday of a lifetime without spending a lifetime of savings. Go Travel.