Mauritius: Tourist arrivals grow in 2015 but earnings fail to keep pace
The Bank of Mauritius released the gross tourism earnings figures for 2015 till date, which showed that, for 2015 upto May, arrivals edged higher compared to 2014 and 2013, but earnings failed to keep pace with tourist footfalls into the island economy.(Image:africareview.com)
The Bank of Mauritius released figures pertaining to gross tourism earnings for the year till May 2015, which showed Rs 3.3 billion as the amount of gross tourism earnings.
Trends show that during three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015, between January and May, January remains the period in which the highest level of gross earnings was derived in the tourism sector. Over the last three years, 2013 recorded the highest receipts for January, with Rs 4.7 billion compared to Rs 4.1 billion and Rs 4.3 billion respectively for the same month in 2014 and 2015.
January is a peak period for the tourism industry where 103,606 tourists visited Mauritius in January this year. For the same month in 2013, the number of tourists reached a lesser 92,894 and yet, more earnings were derived than in 2015.
However, from the information released, it can be noted that in March 2015, the recorded level of tourism earnings was higher than in the previous two years. The Rs 4.0 billion derived in March 2015 represented an increase of 12.1% over March 2014, and 3.3% compared to March 2013.
For 2013 and 2014, earnings dropped in November 2014 by 6.8% compared to 2013, even though tourist arrivals during the month were higher at 91,234 compared to the 2013 figure of 89,057 when Rs 3.9 billion was derived.
For the period from June to October 2013-2014, it can be seen that revenue trends moved up, upon higher tourism arrivals.
For 2013, total tourism arrivals reached 993,106 and figures inched up by 4.6% in 2014 to reach 1,038,968. Accordingly, total gross tourism earnings for 2013 amounted to Rs 40.6 billion, and in 2014, the amount pushed up by 9.2% to reach Rs 44.3 billion.
On a separate note, for fiscal year 2014, the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has collected approximately Rs 63.9 billion in the form of revenue as compared to Rs 61.7 billion in 2013, which represents a 4% rise.
The MRA Director General, Mr Sudhamo Lal, expressed satisfaction with the overall performance for the year 2014 regarding revenue collection, which he attributed mostly to a number of initiatives taken by the MRA.
MRA has collected 7.6% more as compared to the first semester of 2014 and, the tax year, which is currently on a calendar year basis, is being aligned with the new financial year from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016. All Income Threshold exemptions are being revised upward by Rs 10,000 compared to fiscal year 2014, Sudhamo Lal added.
Finally, MRA initiatives for the year 2015 include the implementation of budgetary tax measures, and some key business facilitation measures.