Mauritius no longer in top 3 countries for Indian tourists
Once a popular destination for Indian tourists – honeymooners and family visitors alike – Mauritius is now being regarded as an expensive vacation. (Source: www.african-markets.com)
Singapore, Dubai and Thailand have dethroned USA, Australia and Mauritius as top three choices for Indian tourists due to rising costs, a recent survey ICICI Lombard revealed. Once a popular destination for Indian tourists – honeymooners and family visitors alike – Mauritius is now being regarded as an expensive vacation.
The survey by the Indian insurance major showed that beaches, landscape, historical and heritage sites continue to be the top considerations for overseas travel. This augurs well for the island nation, well known for its beautiful beaches, pristine landscape and a multi-cultural ethos which juxtaposes a rich African heritage against the backdrop of French romance. However, the survey also indicated that factors like safety and security are increasingly important for Indian tourists.
Recently, Mauritius renewed its focus on Indian tourists by launching an online training and certification program for the Indian travel industry. The program may be expected to benefit the island nation by allowing it to tap into Indian travel agents and turn them into ambassadors of the beach-and-sun destination.
For the first quarter of the year (January to March 2013) figures by Statistics Mauritius showed that tourist arrivals from the Asian market went up by 36.5% to reach 29,997, with India, the major contributor, registering a growth of 16.3%. However, for the entire semester from January to June 2013, tourist arrivals from the Asian market went up only 24.9% to reach 64,124, with India registering a lower growth of 8.4%. With growth for the second quarter having slowed down, keeping Indian tourists coming into the island is an important agenda for the Mauritius tourism industry, which is already reeling under lower tourist footfalls from Europe.
The Port Louis government had initially expected tourist numbers to hit the one million mark this year, but revised this downwards in June to 990,000 and then again in August to 980,000. Last year, tourist arrivals rose just 0.1 percent to 965,441.
In other insights given by the ‘ICICI Lombard Travel Insights 2013’, USA is seen as the most expensive country and Sri Lanka is seen as the least expensive travel destination for Indian tourists. China is seen as the most unsafe country and USA as the safest. Singapore is perceived as the country with the best tourist infrastructure while Sri Lanka got the vote for the worst. Besides, the survey also revealed that Germany has emerged as a preferred destination for Indian tourists in 2012-13.
With the sharp fall in rupee, expensive overseas travel and rising airfares, almost 40 per cent of the respondents feel that the number of Indians travelling abroad has reduced. Regarding the key source of information for overseas travel, travel agents topped the list followed by advice from family, friends, colleagues, as well as through the Internet.
The survey was conducted across key travel markets in India—Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Indore—and surveyed 1,043 respondents who travelled overseas in the recent past.
Source: ICICI Lombard Travel Insights 2013, Statistics Mauritius