With Air Mauritius reinstating flights between India and Mauritius, under the air bubble agreement, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) sees an increased urge amongst Indian travellers to visit Mauritius. Arvind Bundhun, Director, MTPA, shares his view on growing tourism ties between India and Mauritius.
With uncertainty still prevailing, how do you see 2022 for outbound travel? Do you foresee a significant demand from India market? Any new trend in terms of international travel?
Mauritius is very well protected against the import of Covid-19. Our public health protocols are widely regarded as best-practice, and we have an extremely high vaccination rate, with over 89 per cent of the adult population already vaccinated and now booster doses are also being administered to the vaccinated population. Tourism employees were prioritised for vaccination, which means that visitors are welcomed and serviced exclusively by vaccinated staff, so we are positive about Tourism in 2022.
Over the last few months, we observed increased optimism and confidence amongst Indian tourists towards our country. With Air Mauritius reinstating flights to Mauritius, under the air bubble agreement, we can see an increased urge amongst Indian travellers to visit our country. We are now also getting more strategic partners showing interest to engage with us in the promotion of Mauritius tourism sector.
The coronavirus crisis has moved the world towards responsible, sustainable, socially innovative tourism, and greater personal interaction with the locals and their culture is the new trend.
Post Pandemic, do you foresee India still featuring amongst your top priority markets?
People are getting upset for not being able to travel for the last 2 years and are eager to travel. The rapid inoculation drive in Mauritius and India, majority of the population are vaccinated and protected against Covid 19, On the other hand, while, discussing with all our trade partners in India, we found out that a significant section of Indians are eager to travel to Mauritius. Hence, we are quite optimistic of revival of substantial tourist footfalls in Mauritius and will remain amongst our top priority lists.
How are you tweaking your marketing strategy for 2022?
There is currently limited information available on the severity of the new variant Omicron, however, MTPA will continue promoting the destination with a focus on digital platforms and social media alongwith with other platforms to reach the target group and maintain our presence in the mind of the travellers. There is also an advertising plan, B2B generated joint campaigns and campaigns with airlines in place which we had to put on hold due to the pandemic.
Any new updates in terms of attractions or tourism infrastructure upgrade in the destination?
The Splash N Fun Leisure Park: A thrilling and exclusive water themed park over 30 arpents (12 Ha) of land on the east coast of Mauritius near Belle Mare public beach. Tastefully themed and designed with its sensational water slides and entertainment rides, heaven like pools, 1 food court, 4 food kiosks and 1 restaurant offering excellent cuisine, it is an answer to those looking for fun, water, action, sensation and relaxation.
Odysseo Oceanarium Mauritius: The first oceanarium in Mauritius. It’s a journey in an aquatic world full of wonder. The aquarium contains 45 tanks that hold a total of 2 million litres of water and are home to 3,500 aquatic animals. Odysseo Mauritius is a place of discovery, education, and awareness.
Besides, many properties in Mauritius have undergone refurbishment and are welcoming guests to their refreshed offerings.
Which segments of tourism will be your focus once tourism restarts? Which are the new destinations that you will be promoting?
Mauritius has long been known as a honeymoon destination. But we have a lot more to offer — affordable luxury, MICE including weddings, adventure sports, international-level golf courses, filming facilities and more. MTPA is promoting the island to welcome all segments of tourists...Leisure, Fits, MICE including Weddings, Honeymooners, Wellness, Golf, Solo travellers, Millennials, Production houses etc.
By when do you foresee MICE and corporate travel market to bounce back?
Historically, it has been noticed that MICE and business travels are more unpredictable and slower to recover than leisure travel after any disruptions to travel patterns. However, we have been receiving many enquiries for MICE groups including destination weddings, film shoots, golfers etc. since we have opened the border which makes us more optimistic and expect the MICE market to bounce back very soon.
Are you planning any trade engagement activities in India market?
To increase the level of engagement with the Trade, MTPA is planning to conduct virtual roadshows and workshops. As Mauritius has opened the border, MTPA plans for conducting more familiarisation trips for tour operators, MICE agents, wedding planners, golfers, film and television production houses and media. MTPA has already organised a travel agents Fam trip in November 2021 MTPA also has plans to participate in trade fairs like SATTEE while observing guidelines laid out from time to time by both the Governments.