The number of tourists visiting Mauritius rose by a robust 4.0% to 490,697 in the first half of this year compared with the corresponding six-month period a year ago, when it increased by a mere 1%.
Statistics Mauritius data also showed higher tourist arrivals in the month of June 2014 by a whopping 9.9%, especially from the traditional European markets which contributed a 10.8% rise in tourist arrivals, pulled up overall tourist arrivals over the 6-month period.
Accordingly, tourist arrivals, which hit 471,664 in the first half of 2013, have risen by 19,033 footfalls in the comparative six-month period from January to June 2014.
Also, compared to the year-ago period, tourists in June 2014 at 60,445 were higher by 5,438 against 55,007 visitors in June 2013.
Europe, which continues to send more than 50% of overall visitors to the island economy, contributed to a rise of 0.8% to 266,295 visitors for the half-yearly period to June 2014 compared to a decline of 5.5% last year.
However, France continued to send lower arrivals to the island economy, facing a half-yearly decline of 4.3% to 118,852, although the figures were an improvement over last year when arrivals from France witnessed a drastic decline of 9.6%.
Besides, Italy followed suit, sending lower arrivals to the island economy by -6.5% to 13,890 visitors for the six-month period.
In contrast, German arrivals grew 2.9% to 29,678 while UK, Austria and Switzerland showed the highest rise in tourist arrivals by 10.5%, 7.8% and 7.4% to 47,142, 4,518 and 12,872 footfalls respectively for the half-year ended June 2014.
Asian arrivals rose 26.6% to 81,193 for the half-year ended June 2014, outstripping last year’s growth rate of 24.9% for the half-year ended June 2013.
Visitors from China especially boosted Asian arrivals, increasing 86.9% to 31,938, and playing catch-up with Indian tourists, who showed a 4.2% rise to 33,173 for the 6-month period.
However, Africa disappointed with a 0.3% dip in tourist arrivals to 126,616 for the half-year ended June 2014 compared to the corresponding year-ago period when it showed 6.4% growth to 127,018 footfalls.
Within the continent, South Africa was a let-down with tourist arrivals plunging 2.3% to 40,002 compared to the half-yearly figure till June 2013 when a 2.8% growth to 40,940 tourists was seen.
In contrast, Reunion bolstered half-yearly tourist arrivals to the island to 68,390, albeit with only a marginal rise of 0.2%.
Also, the combined tourist arrivals from North and South America rose 11.3% to 8,509, compared to the corresponding six months last year when footfalls shrank 9.8%. This was contributed largely by US tourists, who rose by 24.9% to 3,511.
Finally, Oceania which comprises Australia and New Zealand, saw tourist footfalls come down by 5.8% to 7,725 for the first half of the year, compared to last year when visitors from the region grew by 2.2%.
Overall, 1,030,000 tourists are anticipated to arrive in Mauritius and tourism receipts are forecast at Rs 44,550 million by the Bank of Mauritius for the full year.
Image (Financial Times): Europe, which continues to send more than 50% of overall visitors to the island economy, contributed to a rise of 0.8% to 266,295 visitors for the half-yearly period to June 2014 compared to a decline of 5.5% last year.
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