Mauritius secured its position as the leading Indian Ocean destination, when this tropical island paradise scooped no less than three prestigious awards at the 2018 World Travel Awards (WTA) – Africa and Indian Ocean.
The awards were announced at a gala regional event at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) on Saturday night (06 October). Hospitality leaders from across the region gathered at the Durban ICC for the red-carpet WTA gala event to recognise and honour those amongst them who were voted as being the best in the business.
Mauritius was recognised and rewarded in the following Indian Ocean categories: Leading Honeymoon Destination 2018, Leading Cruise Destination 2018, Leading Tourist Board 2018 – Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).
“We are delighted with the recognition from the WTA and our industry peers across a wide variety of categories, as these are all areas within our tourism mandate where we strive to be the best. As Mauritius celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2018, to be awarded in these various segments at the highest level by the World Travel Awards means a great deal to us,” says Ms Amrita Craig, Marketer, MTPA.
“Arrivals to Mauritius continue to grow and these awards are testament to the fact that this island paradise remains a favourite holiday destination for tourists from across the globe, as it offers something for everyone. Beyond the beautiful sea, white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts and hotels along the coast is a whole island waiting to be explored. And, as a melting pot of so many exotic cultures, the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences one encounters in Mauritius are unique to our small but very special island.”
For the period from January to August 2018, tourist arrivals numbered 872,217, a 4% increase on the figure of 838,397 for the same period in 2017. Arrivals from South Africa to Mauritius also continue to show positive growth, with the August 2018 figure of 10,371 up 20.3% from the figure of 8,619 recorded in August 2017. The arrivals from South Africa for the months of January to August 2018 stood at 74,203, which is an increase of 13.2% on the figure of 65,522 for the same months in 2017. South Africa remains within the top five source markets to Mauritius, behind France, Reunion, the UK and Germany.
“While the growth in tourist arrivals this year reflects a positive increase year on year, which is extremely encouraging for us, we know that we cannot rest on our laurels as we continue to work hard to promote this destination to our key markets globally. These WTA awards will also go a long way in reaffirming Mauritius as the leading Indian Ocean island destination, particularly in the areas of cruising, diving and honeymoons,” comments Craig.
With international travel and tourism cited as a key economic driver in Mauritius to create jobs, grow the economy and prosper local communities, this is all good news.
Just a short, four-hour flight from Joburg, Durban or Cape Town, and with no visa requirements, the wide selection of accommodation and tourist attractions, and the variety of cultural, culinary and sporting activities on offer ensure that this tropical island remains a destination of choice to South African travellers.
Mauritius’ national carrier, Air Mauritius, was also honoured at the event, taking home five WTA trophies for the Indian Ocean region: Leading Airline; Leading Airline Brand; Leading Airline – Business Class; Leading Cabin Crew; and Leading Airport Lounge.
Each year the WTA travels the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise individual and collective success within each key geographical region. The annual World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. The WTA brand is recognised as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. The regional winners progress to the Grand Final 2018, to be held in Portugal on 01 December.