Reopening of borders: Challenges and expectations of the tourism industry
With Mauritius set to re-open its borders from October 2021, Nilen Vencadasmy, Chairman of the MTPA, tells us what this momentous milestone means for the tourism industry, which serves as a major driver for the development of the economy and the local community of the island nation.
In the history of the tourism industry in Mauritius, the stakes have never been higher than for the October 2021 reopening of our borders. The stakes are as high as the hopes of all the stakeholders of the sector, from the biggest hoteliers to the villa rental operators, the beach hawkers, skippers, taxi drivers, restaurant owners, street food vendors – as high as the importance of that recovery for the country as a whole.
Indeed, under the impetus of the public and private sectors, our tourism industry has been a major driver for the development of our country and of local communities. It has, obviously, been a vital source of foreign currency. But it has also continuously improved the reality of local businesses because they are part of the supply chain for the tourism sector. Our industry has also been a regular creator of employment, including for women and the local youth.
The latest data shows that forward bookings as from 1st October, the date of our grand opening to the world, are encouraging – although it is too soon to draw any significant conclusions. We remain nonetheless cautiously confident for our forthcoming high season.