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AfricaMoney | August 24, 2017

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Mauritius hosts a million visitors for the first time in island hospitality history

Mauritius hosts a million visitors for the first time in island hospitality history

Mauritius received 1,038,968 tourists in 2014, representing a 4.6% growth over the corresponding period in 2013 when a total of 993,106 tourists visited the island. (Image: Constance)

It is a first for Mauritius tourism as the island economy has welcomed more than a million tourists in a year, according to official figures published by Statistics Mauritius yesterday.

Overall, Mauritius received 1,038,968 tourists in 2014, representing a 4.6% growth over the corresponding period in 2013 when a total of 993,106 tourists visited the island.

While European share has come down from almost two-thirds of total tourists to the island economy, to a little over half, European tourists continue to contribute significantly in the total number of tourist arrivals in the island.

To note, EU sent 570,548 tourists representing almost 55% of total arrivals in 2014, and showing a 4.3% growth over the corresponding figures for 2013.

French tourists continued to hold centerstage with 243,665 arrivals in 2014 while British tourists rose to reach 115,326, or 11.1% of the total number of tourists who visited the island in 2014.

Meanwhile, Asia grew its share at the expense of Europe with 158,361 arrivals, or a 19.5% growth in 2014.

Chinese visitors pulled up Asian arrivals, with a growth of 51.2% in the number of arrivals from China to attain 63,365 visitors, while Indian tourists reached 61,167, a growth of 6.8% as compared to 2013. Incidentally, it was a first for China as well, as Chinese visitors outstripped Indian tourists to Mauritius for the first time.

The island however, failed to capitalise on its Extended Africa strategy as the African bloc actually showed a de-growth over 2013 by -1.3%.

In the African bloc, South Africa emerged as the main supply market for Mauritius with 93,120 visitors, or a 1.2% decrease as compared to 2013, while La Réunion supplied a total of 141,665 tourists in 2014.

Finally, Oceania continued to play a role in Mauritian tourism, although muted, with a 3.6% de-growth over 2013. A total of 18,656 tourists visited the island from Australia, New Zealand and other Oceanian states in 2014.

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