VENTURES AFRICA – Prospects for one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Mauritius, look bleak as its $tourism industry is set to grow only by 1.4 percent next year.
This is after it grew by an impressive 3.2 percent last year despite the Eurozone debt crisis which affected Europe, Mauritius’ main tourist market.
According to the Nairobi-based think tank, Analysis Africa, things are going to be bad next year because of a restricted air access policy, rigidity on market diversification and slow implementation of environmental protection initiatives.
Additionally, poor marketing strategy, crime and insecurity on the island are also the main challenges which have contributed to the poor performance of the tourism sector.
But the game is going to be different for the country’s neighbours Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
Maldives is expected to grow by 7.4 percent while Seychelles and Sri Lanka are expected to grow by 2.8 percent and 16.8 percent respectively.
Tourism is a key industry in Mauritius as it contributes 8.4 percent of the GDP. The tourism sector employs 30.000 persons directly and another 30.000 indirectly generating more than $2.13 billion in foreign exchange.