Mauritius’ tourism earnings grew 10.7% to Rs 32.23 bn for 9 months to Sept 2014
Mauritius has lately been facing difficulty in attracting visitors from Europe because of the global financial crisis; hence, the island is turning its focus to Chinese tourists to make up the shortfall. (Image: ATP)
Mauritius’ tourism earnings saw a rise of 10.7% over the nine-month period from January to September 2014 to hit Rs 32.23 billion against Rs 29.11 billion for the corresponding period in 2013, according to the monthly statistical bulletin for October 2014 by the Bank of Mauritius.
The document released by the central bank of Mauritius also showed that, on a month-on-month basis, gross tourism earnings rose to Rs 3.06 billion in September 2014 from Rs 2.35 billion in September 2013, representing a growth of 30.3%.
Tourist arrivals grew by 4.5% during the nine-month period of 2014 to stand at 725,623, mainly driven by visitors from Europe and Asia, with 8.2% and 23.3% growth respectively.
Driven by Mauritius’ luxury spas and beaches, the tourism sector represents a vital source of foreign exchange for the island.
However, Mauritius has lately been facing difficulty in attracting visitors from Europe because of the global financial crisis; hence, the island is turning its focus to Chinese tourists to make up the shortfall.
Concerning the distribution of credit to the private sector by all banks combined for September 2014, tourism received a total of Rs 47.31 billion, which makes it the second-largest destination for bank credit, after construction, which received Rs 77.58 billion. This amount to as much as 17.8% of total banking credit being received into the tourism sector alone.
It may be recalled that earlier this year, the central bank had sought to cap bank loans to the tourism sector, in view of too much sectoral concentration of bank credit in the hospitality industry. Thus, the tourism sector, which attracts 25% of all bank credit currently, is expected to reduce to 24% as from July 1, 2014 and to 22.5% as from July 1, 2015.
The credit received into the tourism sector was composed of Rs 5.38 billion as overdrafts; Rs 23.08 billion as loans; Rs 18.17 billion as foreign currency loans; and Rs 678.5 million as investment in shares and debentures.
Furthermore, tourism receipts are forecast at Rs 44.55 billion by the Bank of Mauritius for the full year.