Mauritius tourism recovers, revenues up 8.5%


PORT LOUIS – Tourism revenues in Mauritius rose by 8.5 percent in the six months to June, boosted by a jump in visitor numbers from Asia, official data showed on Wednesday.

The Central Statistics Office said revenues in what is a key industry for the Indian Ocean island reached 19.81 billion rupees.

It kept its forecast of a 5 percent increase in visitors this year to 915,000.

Last week, Finance minister Pravind Jugnauth unveiled a $395 million plan to boost the export and tourism sectors.

The stimulus package, the island’s second in recent years, includes 1.2 billion rupees to help attract more visitors from India, China and Russia.

The CSO said 439,150 tourists visited Mauritius, famed for its azure waters, beaches and luxury spas, during the first six months. Arrivals from the Asian market went up by 21.2 percent, with India leading the growth.

Jugnauth said last week he wanted to double the number of visitors from India to 115,000 annually by 2015.

Tourism accounted for 7.4 percent of gross domestic product in Mauritius in 2009, down from 9.4 percent and 8.7 percent in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

The sector’s recovery this year has been subdued by sluggish growth across much of its core European market as well as a weak euro against the local currency.