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AfricaMoney | August 19, 2017

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Mauritius tourism sector to see a freeze on hotel construction projects this year

Mauritius tourism sector to see a freeze on hotel construction projects this year

As such, Tourism Minister Xavier-Luc Duval has also announced the intent to establish a policy to define rules for the allocation for hotel construction licenses.  (Image:  http://www.tours.am; La Plantation Hotel)

The Mauritius Tourism Ministry has agreed to the demand by the Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Mauritius (AHRIM) to stop developing projects related to hotel construction.

The Minister of Tourism and External Communications is said to be in favour of a moratorium on the construction of new hotels to overcome the problem of overcapacity in hotels, which seems to be increasingly affecting other operational sectors in the hotel industry.

In fact, the AHRIM in its last annual report has pointed out that an alarming situation is fast brewing as the gap between the arrival of tourists and hotel allocation is growingly increasing.

As such, Tourism Minister Xavier-Luc Duval has also announced the intent to establish a policy to define rules for the allocation for hotel construction licenses.

The latter also consulted different operators in the sector to look into the slowdown in filling up of hotel rooms. According to the Minister, in the light of the fact that hotel fares have dropped considerably due to the euro crisis and over-supply of hotel rooms, hotel projects need to reconsidered.

According to the latest figures by AHRIM, the number of allocated operated hotels come to 115 and there are also 950 tourist housing residences, which hold approximately 20,000 rooms.

The increase in hotel room supply was undertaken in line with a target of 1.4 million tourists but the number of tourist arrivals has hit even the 1-million-mark only in December last year, as confirmed by the latest statistics released by the Tourism Ministry yesterday.

However, despite the freeze on hotel construction, two hotels will re-open this year.  The Spanish RIU Hotels and Resorts will inaugurate the first one. An international group, it has acquired three Apavou hotels situated at Le Morne with an investment of Euro 80 million.

Then again, in May 2014, the Attitude Group had acquired the La Plantation 4-star property with 275 rooms. It will be closed as from April 2015 for renovation purposes and will re open its door on 01 October 2015 under the Attitude brand name.

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