Mauritius received 651,107 tourists from January to August 2014, representing a 4.6% rise over the corresponding period of 2013, when there was 622,492 tourists visiting the island, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

For the month of August 2014, the number of tourists visiting Mauritius showed an increase of 6.8% to 78,475 against 73,454 visitors in August 2013, mainly driven by Europe, which accounted for a 12.8% rise in the total visitors to the island economy.

Between January to August 2014, Asia boosted tourist arrivals with a 23.1% increase to 108,751 against 88,328 tourists for the corresponding period of 2013.

The three main contributors to the increase in arrivals from the Asian market were: China, Korea, and Malaysia, with 72.3%, 34.2% and 10.8% rise in footfalls respectively.

North and South America combined sent a total of 10,611 tourists to Mauritius between January and August 2014, compared to 10,083 tourists received from the Americas over the corresponding period of 2013, representing an increase of 5.2%.

USA and Canada performed well with 15% and 7.8% increase in arrivals while tourists coming from Brazil and other parts of America dipped by 10.4% and 5.4% respectively.

On the other hand, tourists coming from the African continent increased slightly by 0.7% from 175,174  to 176,404 between January to August 2014 on account of Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Kenya contributed an increase of 21.1% to hit 2,127 visitors to Mauritius, while tourists from Zimbabwe rose by 21.0% to reach a figure of 1,120 visitors.

Reunion Island contributed a bulk of the total tourists coming in to Mauritius from the African continent, up 0.7% from 94,707 visitors to reach 95,399 from Jan-Aug 2014.

However, Comoros saw a decline of footfalls to Mauritius by 17.2% to 625 tourists while tourists from Seychelles to Mauritius dipped from 4,640 to 4,400 visitors.

As for Oceania, which comprises of Australia and New Zealand, among others, visitors from the bloc declined by 6.4% to 11,291 between January and August 2014, against 12,067 in the corresponding period of 2013.

This was largely on the back of a dip in Australian tourists to Mauritius by -7.8% to reach 10,627 visitors until the end of last month.

It may be noted that the island had welcomed 81,935 visitors in July 2014.

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 (MTPA): 20 Chinese couples were married recently on Ile des Deux Cocos. Between January to August 2014, Asia boosted tourist arrivals with a 23.1% increase.

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