Tourism has been one of our most dynamic industries in the past four decades, growing quantitatively at a fast pace, improving qualitatively with more diversified and upmarket products and undergoing the necessary structural changes to build resilience. It has proved over the years to be one of the most globally competitive sectors of our economy.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at the launching ceremony of the New La Pirogue Resort & Spa at Wolmar, Flic en Flac.
Mr Jugnauth congratulated the management of La Pirogue for the efforts put in to modernise the hotel and adapt to the evolving expectations of visitors. He highlighted that renovation is crucial in a world of ongoing changes to consolidate competitiveness. Our tourism industry, he stated, has since the seventies, done what it takes to meet the increasingly sophisticated exigencies of world travellers. This adaptability has always been one of its strengths and this newly renovated hotel bears out the determination to uphold this tradition, added the Prime Minister.
The tourism sector, he pointed out, has lived up to its promise by contributing to take Mauritius all the way from a low income to an upper middle income economy, thus creating thousands of jobs, especially in times when unemployment was high and by bringing in much needed foreign currency to finance development.
Mr Jugnauth recalled that forty years ago, Mauritius received some 100 000 tourists annually and at that time, there were around 40 hotels compared to 110 at present, and with the number of visitors exceeding one million. To this regard, he expressed confidence in the future of the tourism industry. The investments being made to renovate, innovate and improve services are very encouraging and they bear out the high level of trust in the future of the industry and its heightened role in the next stage of development of our country, he said.
The Prime Minister affirmed that Government will continue to give its full support to ensure that the tourism industry grows at its full potential. Our policy, he underpinned, is to encourage higher quality be it in terms of products, infrastructure, environment and the vast spectrum of services that modern up-market travellers expect.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, Mr Jugnauth urged all hotels and operators to fully comply with the Earth Check Certification so as to keep Mauritius as a clean, safe, prosperous and healthy country. He also encouraged the tourism industry to fully align their strategic planning to Government's endeavour to transform Mauritius into a digital economy and society.
Also present on the occasion, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Gayan, stated that renovation is an important feature of the hospitality industry as the expectations of travelers evolve with time. On that score, he said that it is necessary for all hotels to have regular renovations strategy to maintain the top class position. Speaking of the tourism industry, Minister Gayan emphasised that it plays an ever increasing role in Mauritius as it accounts to the creation of over 100 000 jobs and that Government will ensure for more job creation in this sector.