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Steven Obeegadoo : The French Market Is Extremely Important And France Is Our Top Tourist Generating Country

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The outcomes for Mauritius’s tourism sector following the participation of a Mauritian delegation at the recent meeting of IFTM (International and French Travel Market) Top Resa 2022, were discussed by the Acting Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo, this afternoon, during a press conference held at Air Mauritius Building, in Port-Louis.

Mr Obeegadoo, had led an important delegation comprising 40 stakeholders of the local tourism industry comprising the MTPA, Air Mauritius, the Tourism Authority, and hoteliers among others, to participate in the 44th edition of IFTM Top Resa, held from 20 to 22 September 2022 in Paris, France. IFTM Top Resa is a B2B trade show that brings together around 34,000 professionals from the French tourism industry (leisure, business, events, groups, travel agents, tourism distribution and production professionals) every year in Paris, Porte de Versailles.

The Acting Prime Minister spoke about the various meetings he had with key stakeholders of the tourism industry including the French Minister of Tourism, Mrs Olivia Grégoire, with whom he discussed the importance of the French market for Mauritius and exploring avenues of cooperation in the tourism sector, amongst others. He also met Senator, Mr Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, and personalities from the UNESCO namely the Assistant Director-general, Africa Department, Mr Edouard Matoko, with whom he discussed the revival of the African tourism; and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, Mr Ernesto Renato Ottone Ramirez, with whom he discussed the development of cultural tourism.

Mr Obeegadoo also highlighted that he had meetings with representatives of key French tourism agencies. The Rodrigues Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Jean Alain Wong So, he pointed out, was present during these meetings, to promote the destinations of both Mauritius and Rodrigues.

At the very outset, Mr Obeegadoo spoke about the objective of Mauritius’s participation at IFTM Top Resa 2022 which was to accentuate the marketing efforts of the Mauritius destination and give more visibility to the country. The meeting enabled discussions with stakeholders and allowed the sharing of experience since the resumption of touristic activities post-COVID, he saud.

The Acting Prime Minister moreover underscored that the outlook for the tourism sector of Mauritius is positive and elaborated on the recovery rates of the main tourism markets of the country. Global recovery rates in terms of tourist arrivals in Mauritius for July/August 2022 stood at 81% which is a remarkable performance since the reopening of our borders, he indicated.

As regards our main markets, such as Germany and Great Britain we have welcomed more tourists in July/August 2022 as compared to 2019, and this denotes that the market is growing, he added. As for the recovery rates for the South African and Indian markets, the figures stood at 80-85%, and +70% respectively. Speaking about smaller markets such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, he highlighted that these markets are also on the rising curve.

In addition, the Acting Prime Minister underpinned that the French market is an extremely important market for Mauritius and France is our top tourist generating country. The recovery rate for that the French metropolitan market stood at around 90%. Mauritius, he shared, forms part of the top 10 favorite destinations of France in 2022.

We are doing our best in terms of marketing and in improving air connectivity to encourage more French tourists visit Mauritius, he underlined. Globally we are very satisfied of the performance of the French market, he added.

He moreover announced that Mauritius will host, in June 2023, the next Congrès des Entreprises du Voyage en France, and recalled that this Congress brings around 400 travel enterprise leaders together.

As regards air connectivity, Mr Obeegadoo stated that work is ongoing with Air Mauritius and as from October, Air Mauritius in partnership with Air France, will offer 14 weekly flights departing from Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. Air France will also provide additional flights that will be demand-driven and the Corsair company will increase its flights and will offer six weekly flights (departing from Orly, Lyon and Marseille). As for indirect flights, he announced that Emirates, will as from 01 October, propose three daily flights with departure from Dubai while Turkish Airlines will propose seven weekly flights with transit in Istanbul to connect with Mauritius.

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