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Tourism: Targets Earnings Equivalent To Pre-COVID Levels For 2023

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The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, and Minister of Tourism, Mr Steven Obeegadoo, affirmed that the goal set for the local tourism industry for 2023 is to record tourism earnings equivalent to the levels of 2019, that is before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total tourism earnings for January to December 2019 were USD 1,773 billion.

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking at a press conference, yesterday afternoon, at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port Louis. The objective of the press conference was to review the performance of the tourism industry over the first three months of this year and informed of the prospects for 2023.

For Mr Obeegadoo, the target of USD 1,773 billion is achievable, in light of the positive figures regarding tourist arrivals for the period January to March 2023, published by Statistics Mauritius, today. According to Statistics Mauritius, tourist arrivals in March 2023 reached 105,663 compared to 66,066 in March 2022.

In his situational analysis of the tourism sector for the year 2022, Mr Obeegadoo was of the view that there was an upward trend after the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were lifted and the borders re-opened. He stated that Mauritius welcomed 997,290 tourists from 01 January to 31 December 2022, with a significant rise in earnings.

MTPA Press Conference

The tourism strategy for the period 2023-2024, aiming at sustaining tourism growth and addressing the challenges facing the sector, was also dwelt upon by the Deputy Prime Minister. The strategy rests upon three pillars namely marketing initiatives by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA); the development of tourism product and enhancement of customer experience through diversification, greening of the sector and better quality; and improvement of air connectivity. “A 10-year blue print will be elaborated as well in collaboration with the World Bank and the International Tourism Organisation,” said Mr Obeegadoo.

Concerning the marketing initiatives, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the need to consolidate efforts in the country’s main tourism markets namely France, United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and Reunion Island despite the satisfactory recovery rate. As for the ‘opportunity markets’ such as India, the Gulf States, China and other European markets, Mr Obeegadoo stressed the importance of gaining insights on the specificities of these destinations for potential tourism growth.

Regarding air connectivity, the Deputy Prime Minister saluted the efforts of the flag carrier airline, Air Mauritius, which would be operating two new flights to New Delhi per week as from May 2023, increasing its five-flights to London Gatwick per week to seven-flights per week as from October 2023, and establishing two flights per week to Geneva between October 2023 to January 2024. He put forward, too, the five additional weekly flights by Vistara on the India-Mauritius route as from end of March 2023, and the introduction of two flights per week from Frankfurt to Plaisance between May and September 2023 by Eurowings.

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