Chinaman goes to the Indian sea
Omitting the Hainan province, the Maldives islands are the standard destination for Chinese travelers seeking tropical beaches, palm trees and turquoise-blue seas. But a new contender has appeared on the scene: Mauritius, the insular nation in the Indian Ocean that is part of the African continent. Back in May of 2013, the National Tourism Authority of Mauritius forecast that 40,000 visitors from China would travel here by the end of the year. Official figures confirm that the final total is 42,000, practically double the 20,885 Mandarin-speaking tourists that came to Mauritius in 2012.
As a result of Mauritiusâ€™ efforts to gain popularity in the Chinese market, two prizes have been awarded to the country by Ctrip, a top operator in the travel and tourism industry in China. The island was ranked 9th in the "Top 10 Best Overseas Cities" and 2nd in the "Top 10 Island Destinations" for the year 2013. Furthermore, the country has been voted as â€œThe Best Emerging Island Destinationâ€ by â€œVoyage,â€ the high-end, Chinese travel magazine.
The news agency Reuters pointed out that arrivals from Europe, which account for more than half of Mauritiusâ€™s tourists, saw a 1,5% decline in 2013, while gross tourism receipts dropped 8,6% compared to 2012, totaling $1.35 billion. However, the Bank of Mauritius communicated that overall tourist arrivals rose 2.9% last year, to almost one million. Data for the current calendar year certifies an astonishing 298,7% rise in the number of Chinese visitors when comparing figures from January 2012 (1,682) with those of January 2014 (6,706) -- this is the pretty picture of a relatively small market that promises to boom.