The gradual opening of the sky has resulted in a surge of air seats from 1.8 million in 2014 to 2.4 million in 2018. This has greatly contributed to the consolidation of Mauritius' traditional markets and the penetration of new markets where air connectivity is now available.
This statement was made, yesterday, at the National Assembly, by the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, in reply to a parliamentary question which pertained to the different initiatives taken by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) for the sustainable promotion of the tourism industry over the past four years.
The Minister highlighted that the MTPA has re-oriented its marketing strategy to optimise the potentials of our country's traditional markets with growth potential and tap new promising markets. The MTPA has therefore adopted a six-pronged destination promotion approach over the past four years, he pointed out.
The measures are: consolidation of traditional markets such as France, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Italy; aggressive penetration of proximity markets namely Reunion Island and South Africa; and rekindling of low season strategy to transform Mauritius into an all-year-round destination. As such, tourist arrivals increased by 12.5% in 2015, 10% in 2016, 5.2% in 2017 and 5.4 % in 2018 during the low season.
The Minister of Tourism also indicated that the presence of Mauritius has also been increased on markets with hub potentials such as Dubai, Istanbul, Schipol and Nairobi. This strategy, he highlighted, has boosted tourist arrivals from cities not serviced by Air Mauritius.
The development of new markets where air connectivity exists is another measure taken by the MTPA, Mr Gayan indicated. Saudi Arabia, he pointed out, is an example from where tourist arrivals which stood at 2,390 in 2014, increased to 16,507 in 2018. Furthermore, he said that Eastern Africa is another region where the MTPA is directing its marketing efforts as now Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius are operating daily flights.
One more measure concerns the intensification of the destination's visibility through digital and e-marketing actions across markets. As such, the MTPA has developed the MyMauritius mobile application, and has set up e-learning platforms for travel agents and user-generated contents.
Furthermore, Mr Gayan underlined that the Ministry of Tourism, together with Air Mauritius, is revisiting the strategy to re-dynamise the Chinese market which is an important component in the diversification strategy.
In addition, the different destination promotion initiatives undertaken by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority over the last four years have greatly contributed to enhance the visibility of the destination and generated additional tourist arrivals of 248,156. Tourism earnings amounted to an additional Rs 11.3 billion.