The tourism sector figures were released by Statistics Mauritius last week. While in 2020, the country had welcomed 308,980 tourists, the figure fell to 179,780 for the past year, which represents a decrease of tourist arrivals of 41.8%. The target of 350,000 tourists for the year 2021 has not been reached.
In November 2021, the country received the most tourists, 65,922.
In December, the figure was 49,964, while in October, when the borders opened, 54,434 tourists had set foot on Mauritian soil.
For the month of September, which marked the partial opening of the borders, 2,494 people had chosen the destination. While the figures are significantly higher than the figures for the same month in 2020, because the borders were closed, the decline remains significant. For the first three months of 2020, before the pandemic, 304,842 tourists had come to Mauritius while last year there were 2,772 tourist arrivals.
These figures are far behind those of 2019, before the pandemic spread across the globe. As a reminder, the government had expressed the wish to attract 650,000 tourists between June 2021 and June 2022, of which 350,000 from June to December 2021.
As of 7 January 2022, the Covid-19 travel ban imposed by the Republic of Mauritius on the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia is lifted and commercial passenger flights from these countries to Mauritius resumed.
“We are very pleased that South Africans can once again travel to Mauritius. The Covid-19 has placed significant pressure on all nations to do the right thing and we thank South Africans and the South African travel industry for their patience in this regard,” says Arvind Bundhun, director of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).
The health authorities remain confident in their ability to manage the recent increase in infection rates and will continue to follow world-leading scientific advice in this regard. “Sanitary protocols throughout the Mauritius hospitality industry remain at the very highest standards, ensuring that the local community and international guests are afforded maximum protection from the virus. Visitors can book holidays to Mauritius with a high degree of confidence that their trips will be enjoyable, safe, and secure,” says Arvind.