Mauritius is likely to play host to increasing tourists from Turkey come October, with Turkish Airlines set to launch three to four weekly flights to connect Istanbul and Mauritius via Madagascar.

Also, direct flights between Mauritius and Istanbul may not be far off, as Turkish Airlines stated that it would consider operating direct flights to Mauritius, but only after several operations, in view of increasing the connectivity between the two countries.

This decision was taken further to a recent meeting in Turkey between Mauritius Tourism minister Michael Sik Yuen, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) director Karl Mootoosamy, and the President and CEO of Turkish Airlines, Dr Temel Kotil.

The island’s Tourism minister and the MTPA Director are incidentally on an official tour in the Middle East which ends today.

During the meeting, an agreement was reached on three to four weekly flights of Turkish Airlines to connect Istanbul and Mauritius via Madagascar as from October 2014.

“Mauritius represents an attractive destination for the Turkish tourists and there is no doubt that the tourism products will fit the niche market of the Turkish travelers,” said Michael Sik Yuen.

Fellow Indian Ocean island Maldives is a good reference point for Mauritius, as the exotic island was also not on the typical Turkish travelers’ map till Turkish Airlines began to serve this destination, when Maldives soon became a popular destination.

With a population of 76 million, Turkey provides an enormous opportunity for the Mauritian tourism sector.

Mauritius, in turn, can keep Turkish tourists engaged with multiple offering across tourism sectors such as wedding and honeymoon, golf, kitesurf, ecotourism and beach segments, among others.

It is to be noted that Turkish airlines currently provides links to over 200 destinations and is number one in the world by number of countries served and by number of international destinations from a single hub. It is also the world’s number four carrier by total number of destinations.

Further, recent orders mean that Turkish Airlines has a major delivery programme over the next decade. In October 2013, the airlines had a total of 267 aircraft on order, signaling major expansion plans over the coming years.

Image (via MTPA): Temel Kotil (left), CEO of Turkish Airlines, with Mauritius Tourism minister Michael Sik Yuen.

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