Mauritius received several awards for excellence during the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa and Indian Ocean 2019 , held on, Saturday 01 June 2019, at the Sugar Beach Hotel, Flic en Flac. The awards are namely: Indian Ocean's Leading Airline, Indian Ocean's Leading Airport, Indian Ocean's Leading Tourist Destination, Indian Ocean's Leading Wedding Destination and Indian Ocean's Leading Beach Resort amongst others.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Gayan, and other dignitaries were present at the Award Night. Some 160 delegates from 20 countries and several international press were also present.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister said that Mauritius is very proud and honoured to host the WTA Africa and Indian Ocean Award 2019, adding that it will as well showcase our multifaceted country in all its glamour. The WTA, he underlined is an effective means to continuously raise the standard of excellence as it rewards countries for their highest performance in the African and Indian Ocean regions.
Speaking on the tourism sector, he said that it is now evolving in a new environment in the face of globalisation and innovation and is pinned on product differentiation, speed, quality, flexibility, service excellence, and creativity and innovation. He thus stressed on the need for Mauritius to harness its strengths and resources to exploit opportunities in the face of technology and innovation in order to build a more creative and sustainable tourism industry. He recalled that in 2016, Mauritius introduced Hotel Classification System based on star rating with a view to strengthen the overall image of Mauritius as a quality destination as well as to reinforce tourist confidence and satisfaction.
The Deputy Prime Minister also made a comparison of the share of tourist arrival between African countries and the European countries and said that Europe capture around 50% of the total world tourism while Africa share stands hardly at 3%. He made an appeal to countries of the African continent and the Indian Ocean region to unleash their full potentials as they are endowed with a variety of world class tourism assets which are: coastal resorts, wildlife safari, heritage sites, sporting events, cultural extravaganzas and architectures.
For his part, Minister Gayan said that the WTA is a symbol of quality recognition which has been bestowed on Mauritius and that it will help to further increase Mauritius'visibility on the international tourism market. He further spoke of the diverse cultural plurality that exits in the country adding that Mauritius, also known as the star and key of the Indian Ocean for its cultural diversity, will remain the link between continents and oceans in the Indian Ocean.
World Travel Awards
WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Nominees this year range from a broad spectrum of categories namely: Aviation, Tourist Attractions, Car Hire, Cruise, Destinations, Hotels & Resorts, Meetings & Events, Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and Travel Technology, amongst others.