The island state and Mauritians have suffered durably from the Covid pandemic, which has frozen all tourist activity, the island's locomotive. But today, tourism is experiencing an encouraging rebound. In the first seven months of this year, the island welcomed more than 700,000 visitors. At this rate, the sector seems well on its way to regaining its pre-health crisis dynamism. The country has high hopes of reviving its economy.
The Covid crisis has revealed the fundamental importance of tourism in the Mauritian economy. According to the authorities, 100,000 families, out of a population of nearly 1.3 million, depend on this industry. Its direct contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product) is almost 9%. It would be even more critical. The catalytic effect, however, is much more significant. Experts talk of a 25% influence on the economy.
Without the support of the Mauritian state to the tune of half a billion euros for hotels, restaurants, tour operators, taxis, and skippers, tourism would have sunk. Although the disbursement of funds needed more transparency, according to economists and opposition parties, this aid package has now borne fruit. Tourism is gradually regaining its pre-Covid vitality.
With 1.4 million visitors expected and revenues of 1.3 billion euros, tourism has become a significant industry again. "Tourism has proven that it is the key element currently supporting the economic recovery of Mauritius, " analyzes Lindsay Morvan, director of the Tourism Authority, the sector's regulator. " This is much bigger than we thought because, in Mauritius, we have many small operators and entrepreneurs in the field of tourism. »
Sustainability as a new model for Mauritius tourism
With about 6,000 active operators in 32 tourism-related sectors, Mauritius tourism is moving towards a more inclusive, environmentally friendly, and diversified model. Mauritian beaches remain the destination's primary asset, but a valuation of internal riches is underway.
The concept of sustainability is gradually becoming part of the island's tourist life. Key players in the sector are now engaged in a program focused on the circular economy, the transition to a reduced carbon footprint, and preserving biodiversity.