Interview with Arvind Bundhun, Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

31 March 2022 - Travel & Tour World

Mauritius has been conferred the title of 2021 Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination among a number of accolades at the World Travel Awards.

It is already reported that, this East African nation has announced waiving off the requirement of producing a negative PCR test for all incoming visitors to boost international travel. Earlier, fully vaccinated travellers were also required to show a negative PCR test that had been taken within 72 hours before departure, to gain entry into Mauritius.

Here Travel And Tour World speaks to Arvind Bundhun, Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, to know about the latest travel trends in Mauritius different segments of Mauritius tourism.

Travel And Tour World: What are the vaccine campaigns undertaken before entering Mauritius and how it is implemented by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority vis-à-vis reopening of borders?

Arvind Bundhun: Mauritius has reopened its borders for international tourists on October 1st after 19 months of closure after successful vaccination of 90% of our population. We have also embossed on the booster dose rollout which is at full swing. Around 50% of our people have already received their booster doses for further precaution. This means that Mauritius is now extremely safe for tourists at present. We have also prioritized on the stakeholders so that when tourists arrive, they come to a vaccinated bubble- be it in the airlines or airport or hotels or in our other properties.

Travel And Tour World: Can you please share about the arrival of international tourists and business travellers before pandemic and what is you expectation for 2022 current tourism season ? Are you attracting luxury or midscale level tourists and any new update in hotel industry?

Arvind Bundhun: In this calendar year i.e. from 1st Jan to 31st December, we aim at welcoming around 1 million tourists. Actually, Mauritius has always been a luxury destination for tourists. Although, we primarily aim at its luxurious segment, we try to appease all kinds of travellers with our diverse offerings- be it retirees, MICE, honeymooners; we’ve got bid for adventure tourism and all others. Our diversified products aim at catering to all demands of Mauritius’ diversified tourism market.

Travel And Tour World: Mauritius is offering long-term visas to remote workers with the aim to boost tourism revenue as the visitor numbers from the pre-pandemic era. What marketing strategies do you intend to quicken MICE (business) and leisure tourism recovery ?

Arvind Bundhun: Premium visa (long-term visa) is initiative has been launched by Economic Development Board in collaboration with Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MPTA) and the Ministry of Finance. What we found out that people who come on premium visa, owing to the length of stay would spend 15 times more than the usual period. It is one of the reasons figured initially. Secondly, I think Mauritius takes all these boxes to work for these long term visas I think, we’re talking about digital nomads, people working away from their homes and Mauritius offers all these advantages. Mauritius really has a diversified economy.On top of that we have very good air connectivity or digital connectivity. All these work space can be exploited so that Mauritius becomes the hub in Africa, we can accommodate long term tourists and premium visas.

Travel And Tour World: Where does Mauritius stand in terms of economy in travel and tourism sector?

Arvind Bundhun: Tourism is a major ‘economic engine’ for economic growth and development. As you just rightly mentioned it is one quarter of our GDP and encompasses 25% of our workforce and it’s a major provider of green currency in Mauritius.

Travel And Tour World: Enlighten us with the sustainability and responsible tourism approach taken by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority to promote event industry and attract more MICE planners to organize events.

Arvind Bundhun: For the most recovery, this is one of our main targets this year on Indian market- be it MICE or Indian weddings or film productions. We will revive MICE incentives. We were incentivizing agents and welcome more Indian weddings and film productions. We are taking lot of small initiatives so that the product becomes appealing to general customer.

Road to sustainability is quite a journey and Mauritius has started it quite sometime back. Several measures have been taken. Let me mention few of them. Mauritius initiated sustainability quite some time back.

We are encouraging more planners for provision of electricity, but you have to use biodegradable products, we have banned use of plastic on the destination, we are encouraging inclusiveness in tourism. We have brought in lot of sustainable measures so that Mauritius becomes extremely inclusive in terms of tourism.

Source: Travel & Tour World

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