One nation continues in consistency to carve its place of prominence as a prime tourist destination: Mauritius. The island nation is slowly becoming the place to be for most people looking for a good spot to relax and unwind. It is no doubt that many have heard and are seeking to experience the naturally comfortable climate and breathtaking scenery from the coastline to the jungle interiors.
According to Mauritian authorities, the country had accommodated close to a million visitors during 2011, and campaigns are underway for even more to come this 2012. A definite concern for analysts of the country's tourism industry would be the availability of amenities to accommodate the projected growing numbers of tourists, among other logistics. However, the government has taken it a step further, as Mr. Michael Sik Yuen, Mauritius' Minister for Tourism announced that a set of standards will be put in place, aimed at the systematic categorization and grading of lodging in and around the island. Like the Michelin guide and the Zagat survey, this grading system developed exclusively for Mauritian amenities will put every resort, hotel, and inn on the spot to constantly improve on providing quality service. This method of classification was developed by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), with close partnership with consultants around the world as well as with local investors.
Though word on the developed system has been made official, not everyone has full confidence in its effectiveness. It has been noted that there has been no information regarding any sort of collaboration with experts from the Seychelles Islands or any of the other tourist destinations along the Indian Ocean. This comes as a concern to some who are following news regarding this issue closely, as the standards developed may not be in par with the common standards of Mauritius' neighbors. It is no doubt that there will be those who will make comparisons between tourist amenities located in different areas around the Indian Ocean, and in East Africa. Some fear that the system's rating may be too lenient or too brutal, and that the MTPA has risked too much of its credibility as the definite authority in maintaining top service for tourists in Mauritius.
Incidentally, representatives from the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) have conducted an assembly in Mauritius' capital of Port Louis. Attending this meeting were the ministers of tourism who are part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). After this meeting, still some are wondering, has the MTPA at least taken the opportunity to take the advice by those from the SADC who have more experience in the matter? Has the MTPA taken the time to observe what those from the SADC have been doing for their own countries, or did they really go as far as starting something totally new?
Regardless of what doubts are present, it is clear that the tourism industry in Mauritius is doing its part in ensuring that each and every aspect related to a tourist's visit to the island is covered to make for a memorable experience. The returns brought upon by the development and implementation of the new grading system will definitely give the world a clearer picture on not just the quality of hotels in Mauritius, but the competency of its tourism authorities as well.