The Mau­ri­tius Tourism Au­thor­ity

Mauritius Business Travel Guide - - MAURITIUS -

THE MAU­RI­TIUS TOURISM AU­THOR­ITY (MTPA) was borne out of the Mau­ri­tius Govern­ment Tourist Of­fice, an in­sti­tu­tion set up in 1959 in or­der to pro­mote the is­land as the tourist hot-spot that it is recog­nised as to­day.

With the growth in the tourism in­dus­try, the Govern­ment fer­vently con­sid­ered the need of Mau­ri­tius for a ded­i­cated pro­mo­tion agency for tourism, cre­at­ing a new en­tity which would be able to op­er­ate more flex­i­bly and with bet­ter ef­fi­ciency in meet­ing the new chal­lenges and im­pe­tus put on the in­dus­try.

In the early days there was an av­er­age of 7,700 tourist ar­rivals and only two ho­tels op­er­at­ing on the is­land; now 30 years later, with the MTPA in full flow, the land­scape of tourism in Mau­ri­tius has changed dra­mat­i­cally, with tourist ar­rivals sit­ting at 480,000 and ap­prox­i­mately 90 ho­tels for them to chose from.

Kevin Ramkaloan, Di­rec­tor of the Mau­ri­tius Tourism Pro­mo­tion Au­thor­ity talks to Africa Out­look about the ex­cit­ing work of the Au­thor­ity to make it the suc­cess it is to­day, along­side the plans for the fu­ture to take tourism in Mau­ri­tius to the next level.

Africa Out­look (AfO): Since in­cep­tion, how has Mau­ri­tius Tourism Pro­mo­tion Au­thor­ity de­vel­oped and pro­gressed in terms of its key ob­jec­tives and the mes­sages it tries to por­tray?

Kevin Ramkaloan (KR): The MTPA is act­ing specif­i­cally in the pro­mo­tion of the des­ti­na­tion in all our key mar­kets and also in se­lected new mar­kets where we be­lieve there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for strong growth. We count on a lo­cal team of ap­prox­i­mately 50 per­sons and on 10 over­seas rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices.

Our key mes­sage has un­wa­ver­ingly been to pro­mote Mau­ri­tius as a lifestyle and all-year round des­ti­na­tion to reach our tar­gets. We also fo­cus on niche seg­ments, in­clud­ing golf, sports and eco-tourism among oth­ers.

AfO: Tak­ing a more gen­eral in­dus­try stance, how would you eval­u­ate the tourism sec­tor in Mau­ri­tius now com­pared to its con­di­tion when the Mau­ri­tius Tourism Pro­mo­tion Au­thor­ity be­gan?

KR: There has been a marked fo­cus on pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing the tourism in­dus­try in Mau­ri­tius, which has yielded pos­i­tive results for this sec­tor, and recorded an an­nual in­crease in tourism ar­rivals from 2010. Sub­se­quently this has also re­sulted in an in­crease in the num­ber of ho­tels and room ca­pac­ity across the is­land.

As at June 2017, there are 394 tour-oper­a­tors listed in the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories: DMC, Tour Or­gan­iser, Out­door Tour Op­er­a­tor and On­line Tour op­er­a­tor and go­ing for­ward, on­go­ing and healthy pub­lic/pri­vate sec­tor dia­logue is key to de­vel­op­ing fur­ther and grow­ing the tourism in­dus­try. There is a need to work to­gether in the tourism sec­tor to take Mau­ri­tius to the next level in guest ex­pe­ri­ence and en­sure the is­land keeps its lead­ing po­si­tion as a global des­ti­na­tion.

AfO: What is in store for Mau­ri­tius over the course of 2017 and be­yond to con­tinue the good work al­ready com­menced and to en­hance its rep­u­ta­tion as a tourism and busi­ness travel hub fur­ther in the fu­ture?

KR: Mau­ri­tius has ac­quired a global rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing des­ti­na­tion for ex­cel­lence in hos­pi­tal­ity. The sec­tor op­er­ates within a growth mar­ket with tourist ar­rivals post­ing healthy dou­bledigit in­creases since 2015. How­ever, it is also an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment and we have to con­tinue de­liv­er­ing a world-class, seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence to both busi­ness and leisure trav­ellers.

As an in­dus­try, we need to fo­cus on strength­en­ing the emerg­ing mar­ket and di­ver­si­fy­ing new mar­kets and the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the Africa-Asia Air Cor­ri­dor of­fers high prospects for the growth of the econ­omy.

KLM Royal Dutch Air­lines is to in­tro­duce a di­rect flight from Am­s­ter­dam to Mau­ri­tius from Oc­to­ber this year, in co-op­er­a­tion with Air Mau­ri­tius. Us­ing KLM’s ex­ten­sive net­work will en­hance the flights of­fered to Mau­ri­tius from Am­s­ter­dam and across Europe.

AfO: Fi­nally, look­ing for­ward, if we were to speak again in three-five years’ time, what progress and de­vel­op­ment would you hope and ex­pect to be able to re­port back, both in re­gard to the Mau­ri­tius Tourism Pro­mo­tion Au­thor­ity as an en­tity, and in re­gard to the busi­ness travel in­dus­try in Mau­ri­tius as a whole?

KR: As the MTPA, our fo­cus is to be bet­ter staffed and, with a fully com­put­erised IT sys­tem, be more re­spon­sive, adapt­able and in­crease our ef­fi­cien­cies, ef­fec­tive­ness and de­ci­sion­mak­ing pro­cesses.

We are work­ing to­wards in­tro­duc­ing ded­i­cated teams to re­tain and grow cur­rent mar­kets and to de­velop new mar­kets; we will in­crease the role of e-mar­ket­ing, and en­gage proac­tively within our mar­ket seg­ments such as sports tourism, the cruise mar­ket etc.

Mau­ri­tius has suc­cess­fully estab­lished it­self as a busi­ness hub on the Asi­aAfrica Air Cor­ri­dor, within the tourism in­dus­try and fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tors, work­ing to­gether closely to achieve the ob­jec­tive of mak­ing Mau­ri­tius the pre­ferred hub on the Asia-Africa Cor­ri­dor. www.tourism-mau­ri­tius.mu

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