Mauritius, which currently attracts less than 100,000 travellers from India, is looking to reach the 120,000 milestone by 2020. The destination is promoting itself aggressively in the India market but still needs to develop the connectivity. Currently Air Mauritius is the only airline that flies to India.
Recently Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Tourism, Mauritius visited India to attend SATTE 2019 and also meet with Indian counterparts. Speaking about the target and connectivity issues he said, “We are targeting to reach 120,000 by 2020, as of now we haven’t reached 100,000. We are interested in developing the air connectivity. We are in talk with Jet Airways and SpiceJet and are open to any other Indian airline which is looking to provide a direct connectivity to Mauritius. Currently, there is a codeshare between Air Mauritius and Air India, but the only airline flying is Air Mauritius. We believe that there is so much potential in this market that we need to develop it. The only way to develop this market is to have better connectivity. The Air services agreement between both the nations provide for more carriers from India to Mauritius. We are looking at a lot of cities in India to connect. One of the problems that the Indian companies have is their fleet does not allows them to fly to Mauritius. SpiceJet has the aircraft to fly from South of India.”
Today the Indian outbound is growing rapidly and every destination is looking for a slice of the pie. Minister Gayan said that the destinations should look at a South- South Cooperation in the tourism segment.
He further said, “The way tourism has developed, everybody from India is now looking at western destinations to travel. We want to have a South-South cooperation in the tourism segment. We already look at this cooperation in terms of trade but want to get it to tourism as well.”
The destination is also looking to introduce new tourism products. He said, “We are also working on bringing the sovereignty of Chagos Archipelago. Once we get this we can open a whole new world of tourism. Also there is a lot of religious tourism happening in Mauritius. A lot of Indians are travelling for business and professional purposes, we want more tourism.”
Mauritius is also now looking to develop the cruise tourism segment. The destination is looking for smaller vessels which can carry 500-1000 passengers.
Minister Gayan said, “We already have cruise tourism plans, we are trying to identify a vessel which can carry anywhere around 500-1000 passengers and can do the Indian Ocean. We are trying to identify any such vessel. We want to develop this segment. This is a big segment with a lot of tourism potential. We are open for business and investments for tourism in Mauritius.
The nation is also looking out to revive film tourism from India. The destination is offering rebates as high as 40 per cent. Also the destination has attractive incentive schemes for big Indian weddings.
Speaking about the segments Gayan added, “We have a very attractive rebate scheme for film tourism and we are in touch with the production houses. We are looking to attract film tourism. In the past Bollywood has shot a lot of films, we want them once again. We are also now developing the technical assistance. We will also develop post production facilities. The government reimburses 40% of the cost incurred by production units in Mauritius which has become a major draw by now.”