Following on from four years of double digit growth since 2012 from the UK market, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) predicts a 6% year on year growth with 2018 expected to be its best year for tourism yet.

Both British Airways and Emirates have increased the number of flights to the destination indicating a greater demand from the UK market. British Airways has added two additional departures flying from Gatwick to the island destination, bringing the total to five departures per week, and these added flights have been confirmed for the entire winter season until March 21, 2018. The island’s national carrier, Air Mauritius, has also seen growth of 15% this year and is to introduce two new aircraft this month in response to this increase of demand.

Raj Bhujohory, chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, said: “Tourism arrivals and growth has been sustained from the UK market and the interest for Mauritius has been growing. “Mauritius has approximately 14,000 hotel rooms, of which 10-11,000 are four-star plus to five-star plus high-end luxury. However we’re seeing a change happening in Mauritius of big international hotel chains rebranding these high-end properties becoming, for example, a Shangri-La or a Four Seasons. If you ask me why now we have seen an increase of interest from holidaymakers in Mauritius it’s because there has been lots of improvement in the quality of our product.”

The destination will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of Independence in 2018, hosting a range of celebrations across the island, including ceremonies, live music and performances on its national day, March 12. The celebrations will also provide the opportunity to increase the destination’s visibility to UK consumers, an important and immediate focus for the authority, with a campaign planned in partnership with the BBC.

Zeenat Gangee, tourism promotion manager for the authority, added: “This campaign will centre around the 50 year celebrations and introduce a deeper and very real side of Mauritius; meeting the locals, experiencing the island and the Mauritian lifestyle. With new accommodation options and new upgrades to our airline, there's a breath of fresh air in our tourist offering and we will be showcasing our culture, a strong element which differentiates us from other island destinations.

“We have a strong bond with travel agents and this is something we have been nurturing with a strong platform of sharing information. The destination is very dynamic so there are always new products coming out and this is something that we wish to continually share.”

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