Mauritius fails to meet 2013 target of one million tourists

Mauritius missed its target of one million tourist arrivals for 2013 as final figures show that the island economy could only notch up 993,106 footfalls for the whole year, on the back of weaker-than-expected growth in December tourists.

Tourist arrivals last month rose a mere 1.4% from 115,465 in December 2012 to 117,086 in December 2013, compared to a 3.1% increase in November arrivals, accordingly to Statistics Mauritius data released today.

However, though the target for 2013 has gone unmet, tourists visiting Mauritius increased 2.9% compared to 2012, when 965,441 tourists arrived in the sun-and-sand destination.

The round-up for the year showed a disappointing performance from Europe with a fall of 1.5% in tourists from the struggling Eurozone, even as Asian countries came to the rescue with a 27% growth in footfalls.

Among Asian economies, sunny notes were struck by China, Malaysia and Unites Arab Emirates in particular, which contributed the most towards boosting tourists to Mauritius.

The number of Chinese visitors more than doubled, going up by 100.7% to 41,913 in 2013. Also, the figure for Malaysian tourists increased 61.4% to stand at 3,174 arrivals in 2013. Finally, an increase of 51% was seen in tourists from United Arab Emirates to 8,161 visitors in 2013, compared to 5,403 in 2012.

Oceania, comprising Australia and New Zealand, among others, saw 8.4% growth as 19,360 visits were recorded in 2013 against 17,863 in 2012.

Africa pulled in a 2.7% growth in tourist arrivals to Mauritius, as 277,773 tourists arrived on the island shores from the continent in 2013.

However, Europe was a let-down, as tourists from the erstwhile pillar of Mauritian tourism declined 1.5%, with France in particular disappointing with a 1.4% dip in arrivals to 244,752 tourists in 2013.

Among other European economies, while Russia, Italy and Spain pulled down Europe’s tourist contribution with major decreases of 23.3%, 22%, and 10.9% in tourist arrivals respectively, Denmark came to the rescue with an unexpected increase of 33.8% to hit 3,282 footfalls.

Finally, the Americas followed in Europe’s footsteps, lodging a 6.9% reduction in tourists to stand at 15,473 visitors in 2013, compared to 16,624 in 2012. Brazil, in particular, went deep into the red as tourists coming from the South American nation declined by 10.3% to 2,886 arrivals.

In 2014, the island’s best hopes at reviving tourism lie in enticing more visitors from Asian economies, even as it keeps up its focus on its traditional markets in Europe.

Caption: The round-up for the year showed a disappointing performance from Europe with a fall of 1.5% in tourists from the struggling Eurozone, even as Asian countries came to the rescue with a 27% growth in footfalls. (Image: accommodation.io)