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Visitors from Saudi Arabia to Mauritius in 2018 increased by 221% –

The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority launched a week of promotions, travel industry workshops and gala events to take place in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel on March 24, 2019, to promote the Indian Ocean island’s breadth of attractions, and remind Saudis why it’s a great family-friendly, honeymooner and adventure-seeker destination to be visited throughout the year.

The “Mauritius Week in Saudi Arabia” is a multi-faceted programme of promotional events spearheaded by the Honourble Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Mauritius Minister of Tourism, and implemented by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority that includes gala evenings taking place in Jeddah on March 24th, Dammam on the 25th and Riyadh on March 26th, 2019. The evening events include travel industry workshops and one-to-one meetings between 25 Mauritius travel industry companies and Saudi leading travel agencies, as well as a photography exhibition highlighting the attractions of Mauritius for tourists, a press conference, cultural demonstrations, and a gala dinner showcasing the multi-cultural cuisine that Mauritius is famous for. These visits will culminate with the mission delegation participating in the Riyadh Travel Fair, which is being held at Al Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh between March 28th and 30th, 2019.

In a speech delivered on the behalf of the Mauritius Minister of Tourism, the Honourble Anil Kumarsingh Gayan mentioned: “Mauritius is a world in miniature where different cultures, religions and ethnic groups thrice in peace and harmony. Mauritius offers not only distinctive luxurious experiences, but also eco-tourism, wellness and spa, adventure sports, conferencing and incentive programmes, as well as amazing golf courses, hiking, horse riding, hunting, nature and wildlife, zip line excursions, jeep safari, walking with lions, skydiving and trekking to name just a few of the activities in addition to all the sea-based activities that can be enjoyed.”

The Minister added: “All food served in Mauritius hotel restaurants and retail outlets are Halal certified, and Saudis can taste the local dishes at any restaurant or outlet of their choice without any apprehension.”

Mr. Arvind Bundhun, Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority highlighted that: “Mauritius was discovered by the Arabs and ever since, the cultural and historical ties between our two countries continues to grow stronger yet.” Bundhun added: “Saudia Airlines have been instrumental in their contribution towards the seamless link of passengers between our two countries. They have transported tourists from Saudi Arabia to Mauritius and also pilgrims from Mauritius to Makkah point to point.”

Tourism is the third pillar of the Mauritius economy accounting for 8.6% of the nation’s Gross National Product (GDP), 20% of the labour force and 11% of investment. Tourism earnings amounted to USD 1.9 billion and tourist arrivals reached 1.4 million in 2018. With the total number of hotels and resorts increased to 114 properties, representing 13,523 rooms.

In 2018 the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia to Mauritius numbered 16,507, a 221% increase compared to the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia in 2017 which numbered 5,142, ranking Saudi Arabia as the 12th most important international market for inbound travellers to Mauritius.

The “Mauritius Week in Saudi Arabia” as well as a whole slew of promotional activities planned to be held throughout the year in Saudi Arabia by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority are expected to increase the number of visitors from the Kingdom even further, raising the profile, ranking and importance of Saudi Arabia as a key strategic market for the Mauritius tourism industry. Based on the latest data available, 2019 has started off well, with the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia to Mauritius in January 2019 increasing by 6.3% compared to January 2018.

Says Mr. Reshad Moolye, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Mauritius Ministry of Tourism: “The Mauritius government is pursuing a market diversification strategy for tourism growth, and in this context Saudi Arabia is an important market along with China and India. Our ambition is to reach 30,000 Saudi tourists by the year 2020.”