We now can co-create the tourism industry of tomorrow #MauritiusNow
by Mr Nilen Vencadasmy, Chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA)
The 15th July 2021 marked an important milestone for Mauritius as the Indian Ocean paradise opened its borders to international travellers, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated, under strict sanitary protocol.
Mauritius has been very cautious since the outbreak of this pandemic and this approach has certainly worked, as the island has been acclaimed by many international organisations such as the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), and also by the WHO to have a world class response. We have been one of very few countries to have been “Covid-free” for more than 10 months. We recognised early on that keeping Covid out from our globally connected country would be difficult and with registered cases in the community, we are confident that we are sufficiently prepared logistically and knowledgably to deal with it as compared to last year.
This is possible due to meticulous planning from Government and a firm conviction to vaccinate our population. It is only a matter of weeks from now that we shall be reaching herd immunity of the population before the complete opening of the borders in October.
Despite the pandemic, Mauritius as a tourist destination has been very active. This period has allowed us time to deep dive into the fundamentals of our offerings and to better understand the wishes and needs of the future travellers. This joint brainstorming has been possible through a close collaboration of the authorities (MTPA, Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism) and our partners from the private sectors. Never before would we have thought to have such cohesion moving forward with a common vision of keeping the destination visible, safe, secure, and also attractive for the coming visitors.
On the sustainable side, there has been a mini revolution in our way of marketing the destination. It is now understood that we needed to occupy the space. Digitalisation of our services with new platforms such as MauritiusNow has been well received by our international partners, but also by the general public.
We have been the main communication platform to inform travellers and the B2B partners on the evolution of the sanitary protocol on the island, air connectivity, the travel requisites and accommodation proposals.
In our communication, we have been focusing a lot on the authenticity of the destination. These include local faces, the people behind the success of the tourism industry, the artisans that discreetly but efficiently shaped our reputation. Other than the famous 3 S’, we support the development of exclusive activities that are less harmful to the environment while they encourage a better share of the tourism income.
We are certainly aware that the tourism industry evolves in a dynamic environment. It is a permanent re-invention process to adapt to the new normal, and we will continue to adjust to new demands.
We are fully supportive of the actions and endeavours of the SIM project with whom we work closely. The capacity building and enabling activities of SIM with the SMEs are of paramount importance to upgrade the potentials of a few to bridge the gap between demand and supply. It is overwhelming also to note the cohesion of the large operators who are closely working with these SMEs to encourage them to develop products that are fit for their respective needs.
Out of the sustainability offers being co-created by the operators, the MTPA shall be supporting these products in its marketing and promotional campaigns. On the environmental side, we are in close collaboration with SIM to develop a consciously-minded population and tourists to keep our island clean and healthy. This is a continuous effort that we shall maintain until we are fully satisfied with the results. The #respektemoris campaign is a clear example of a common approach.
Mauritius has always shown resilience to challenges throughout the years, as well as the motivation to bounce back. It is now our turn to lift the tourism industry, and this can only be achieved together. We have started by cleaning our island and ensured it is a safe and secure environment, we will nurture our famous ‘art de vivre ensemble’, we will keep our passion high about delivering exceptional services and most importantly, we collaborate to make tourism an asset and not a liability. This is all about sustainability and the legacy we shall leave.
We now can co-create the tourism industry of tomorrow. MauritiusNow.
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Improving Sustainaible Tourism In Mauritius through Greening the Value Chain of Tour Operators (SUS-ISLAND) is a Switch Africa grand project funded by the European Commission and led by Mauritius Tourism Authority. Its objective is to promote sustainaible tourism in Mauritius by demonstration and scaling up a self-sustaining mechanism for improving sustainaibility impacts along the value chain improving awareness and market of sustainaible tourism products.