Italian cruise line Costa Croisières announced last week that it will resume its activities in the Indian Ocean region from January 12, 2015 with the arrival of the new neoClassica.

Costa Cruise representative, Emilio Zunino, announced that four ships of neoClassica will be in Mauritius in 2015 and six in 2016.

Accordingly, Mauritius Tourism minister Michael Sik Yuen forecast an increase in cruise passengers to 20,000 in 2015, 50,000 in 2020 and 100,000 in 2025.

Zunino also underlined that the cruise ships under the Costa neocollection will enthral travellers with new routes and unique experiences.

He visited Mauritius with several representatives of the ports in the region to develop common strategies to improve the cruise offerings, an important segment for the tourism sector and the economy of every Indian Ocean Island.

Accordingly, a workshop was held on 22 May 2014 to convene the representatives of the Mauritius’ ports, Reunion Island, Seychelles and Madagascar as well as the stakeholders of the local cruise sector across the Indian Ocean region.

Michael Sik Yuen explained that it is important for every port city to meet the expectations of cruise passengers.

“Together with the islands of the region, it is necessary to find a common vision and solution to expand the stay of cruise passengers in our respective destinations. It is also essential that we arrange adequate harbour facilities to welcome these passengers,” the minister stated.

The cruise passengers will have 14 days on the cruise vessel to discover the islands of the region among which feature Mauritius, Reunion Island, Seychelles and Madagascar.

The partners present at this workshop discussed the marketing plan of Costa for the next two years.

The MTPA and its local representative, Coquille Bonheur, will give all their support to Costa Croisières to increase the number of cruise passengers in Mauritius.

“The enhanced visibility of Mauritius in Asia, and particularly China, will increase the number of cruise passengers on a long-term basis. Besides, we will work together with the private sector to welcome other cruise liners to Mauritius soon,” Michael Sik Yuen announced.

Besides, the Vanilla Islands Organisation is also implementing plans to complement those of the islands’ tourism boards, and particularly regarding the medium and the long-term outlook.

In order to set up the strategy of the islands’ tourism boards, three main objectives have been announced.

The first objective is to increase the number of high-end tourists, the second one is to develop the necessary infrastructure for greater footfalls, and the third one is to enhance the quality of standards and services.

A two-day workshop is being held in Mauritius with the aim to ensure better collaboration between markets, give rise to more coherent action plans, and promote greater efficiency in tourism initiatives.

Having started yesterday, 26 May 2014, the workshop is centred round the theme of social networking, hence the social community managers from Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion Island, and Seychelles have gathered to get a better insight into this growing marketing initiative of social media platforms.

The participants are being imparted knowledge and expertise by an Australian consultant, who is a well-recognised figure in the tourism sector, to better embrace these new marketing technologies and reach out to new clients.

The Vanilla islands must be correctly positioned, and this training marks the first stage of this collective effort because social networks represent an ideal marketing platform to ensure the promotion of the destinations and to interact directly with the potential clientele.

Image (Croisiere Club): Emilio Zunino, a representative of Italian cruise line Costa Croisières, announced that four ships of neoClassica will be in Mauritius in 2015 and six in 2016.

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