September 26, 2017

In an exclusive interview with Voyager’s World at the Mauritius Roadshow in Bengaluru, Kevin Ramkaloan, Director, MPTA, draws a comparison of the year 2017 in terms of arrivals to Mauritius from India as compared to the previous two years and the reasons leading up to the same.

Anju Anna Alex

The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) organized a four city roadshow in the major Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, to update and educate the Indian travel trade partners with the latest offerings of Mauritius, given the exceptional potential of the Indian market. It is anticipated that the trade show will, in turn, help Mauritus Tourism forge new ties with the Indian buyers. With representatives from luxury hotel brands, DMCs, travel agents, media etc. the roadshow witnessed the participation of an elite gathering of travel industry professionals. Apart from the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Air Mauritius, the other 22 participants included the likes of InterContinental Mauritius Resort, One&Only Le Saint Geran, Radisson Blu Azuri Resort, Sofitel Imperial, Holidays Seven DMC, Maurijet DMC etc. to mention a few.

In a one-to-one interaction with Voyager’s World at the Mauritius India Roadshow held in Hotel Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru, Kevin Ramkaloan, Director, MTPA, talked about the growth prospects for 2017 from India. Kevin explains, “2015 and 2016 were exceptional years for Mauritius Tourism with double digital growth. For 2017, we are expecting the strong growth to continue. 7 to 8% overall growth is anticipated for 2017. We have 10 top markets that contribute to over 80% of our total tourist arrivals. Our arrivals every year is over 1.3 million tourists. India is in the list of top 10 countries but not in the top 5. We are optimistic that we will be able to track more than 100,000 tourists from India very soon. Last 2 years, we had sustained growth from India. We had 18%growth in 2015 and 15% in 2016 and we were expecting similar strong growth in 2017. But unfortunately, we have been hit by a double whammy. Firstly, we had demonetization at the beginning of the year. After it happened, the growth in arrivals went back on track. Then there was the GST which during the end of the holiday period created some kind of hesitation in the market. We fully understand the reason of GST and we are fully convinced that very quickly we will go back on track on our growth trajectory for India. 2017 therefore, there will be growth according to us for Mauritius but it might be more sluggish than what we had expected. But with the huge strides that India is making towards huge progress, we believe that 2018 we should be definitely be able to reach the 100,000 mark, obviously conditional to the airlift being there. We have our national carrier, Air Mauritius, which has 2 flights from Bangalore and several flights from across the main cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Connectivity is not an issue. We are also served by Emirates twice daily.”

Highlighting Mauritius as the perfect beach destination for Indians Kevin stated, “We feel our product is very geared towards the Indian traveller. 60 % of Mauritius is of Indian origin so when an Indian traveller comes to Mauritius there is that affinity that already there. We have got Jain food, we have got vegetarian food, we have got excellent cuisine including French cuisine, wines etc. It is an exceptional place for an experiential holiday. So, what we would like to take across to the Indian traveller is that Mauritius is not just another beach destination; it also has the most beautiful beaches in the world. In fact just recently, the TripAdvisior ranked ten top beaches in the world and the Blue Bay Beach of Mauritius of the south coast was one of the top ten beaches of the world. We also have a plethora of exciting inland activities. We are one of the safest destinations of the world. Indian travellers will be very happy and safe in Mauritius, it being one of the only 10 counties in the world that are conflict free. Mauritius is also an incredible melting pot of different cultures. The experiences can be extraordinary experiences mainly with respect to culinary and cultural experiences. Next year, we are celebrating 50 years of Independence for which the celebrations have already begun.”

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