Mauritius’ tourism sector saw significant improvement with 725,623 tourists visiting the island between January to September 2014, an increase of 4.5% over the corresponding period of last year when there were 694,443 tourist arrivals.
According to data released by Statistics Mauritius, for the month of September 2014, the island received 74,516 visitors against 71,951 visitors in September 2013, which represents a 3.6% rise.
This overall spike in tourists to Mauritius was mainly driven by Asia, which saw a 23.1% rise in its total footfalls to the island economy to 121,352, against 98,550 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 66.5%, 35.2% and 23.4% at 50,645, 2,285 and 2,512 visitors respectively whereas Singapore declined significantly by 20.6% to 1,279 visitors.
It may be noted that China has overtaken India as the largest source of visitors to the island economy, as India grew tourist footfalls by a mere 1.1% to 44,970 over the 9-month period.
Meanwhile, the European bloc continued to be the largest source region for tourists to Mauritius, sending 385,046 visitors from January to September 2014, compared to 374,540 in the corresponding period of last year.
This represented an increase of 2.8% in European tourists overall, with the main contributors being Luxembourg, Czech Republic, and Sweden at a rise in footfalls of 28.2%, 27.4% and 27.0% respectively.
However, even with a degrowth of 2.4%, France continues to send the maximum number of tourists from the European bloc, at 159,237 visitors, while UK followed next with 81,761 tourists at a growth of 13.5% and Germany rounded up the top three with 3.7% growth to 43,491 tourists.
Between January to September 2014, there were 11,679 tourists from America while in the corresponding period of 2013, the number of tourists were 11,107, thus showing a rise of 5.1%.
From the American bloc, comprising both North and South America, USA and Canada were the two countries which boosted tourist arrivals in Mauritius with rise of 14.6% and 9.2% respectively. Conversely, Brazil and other American countries decreased footfalls by 8.1% and 8.6% respectively.
The African continent also saw a downward trend in tourist footfalls to Mauritius.
Tourists from the African continent decreased by 0.7% to 193,840, with Comoros seeing the maximum percentage decline of footfalls to Mauritius by 16.2% to 704 tourists, while tourists from Madagascar dipped by 4.6% to 9,607 visitors.
While Kenya and Zimbabwe were the only countries which boosted the African tourist arrivals with major increases of 16.4% and 24.4% respectively, Reunion Island improved slightly between January to September 2014 by contributing 101,246 visitors to Mauritius against 101,029 in the same period of 2013.
Finally, Oceania continued a downward spiral, going down by 8.0% to 13,212 visitors between January to September 2014 against 14,360 visitors in the year-ago period.
Australians coming to Mauritius between January to September 2014 were estimated at 12,415 while in the corresponding period last year, it amounted at 13,711. Thus, Australian tourists declined by 9.5% while other countries in the Oceania bloc registered an increase of 22.8% to 797 arrivals.
Image (OneTikk): This overall spike in tourists to Mauritius was mainly driven by Asia, which saw a 23.1% rise in its total footfalls to the island economy to 121,352, against 98,550 tourists for the corresponding period of 2013.
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