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Tourism is seen as a final consumption by households for holidays through which the spending of domestic and foreign visitors creates turnover and added value for many companies and different sectors of the economy. This demand consists of a package of services either put together by the tourist himself or by the operator. The creation of such a package requires production in partnership and marketing by various suppliers. Mauritius is already a well established tourist-receiving country both in the Indian Ocean and on the highly competitive world market. The development of tourism facilities, more particularly the accommodation sector, has been stimulated by private local sector and overseas interests with a low level of government intervention. Although the tourism industry is dominated by the private sector, the Mauritian government has been involved in the provision of financial incentives to attract both local and foreign investment. The tourism development is therefore a complex process involving the development agents and key stakeholder groups with state policy, planning and regulations. Although the current form of tourism may have impacts on the destination, there may be potential broader development outcomes which benefit the destination.


Problem Statement

The size of Mauritius means that tourism cannot be allowed to expand indefinitely as tourism is bound to give rise to a large number of conflicts. Moreover, the development of tourism is assisted by the rapid growth of private sector businesses and their willingness to exploit new commercial objectives. Absence of a proper planning policy and development will have detrimental impacts on tourism on the society, economy and the environmental. This has been the case to Mauritiuss neighbour countries like Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros who have failed to develop their tourism industry because of conflicts. (Conlin and Baum, 1995).




Aims and Objectives of the studySince the government is aiming 2 million visitors by in Mauritius, the study of Telfer and Sharpley (2008) will be tested to find out its effectiveness for the destination, the fact that Mauritius relies largely on the tourism industry. y The fact that each development of tourism brings along negative impacts, we shall analyse whether the strategy plan on tourism takes into consideration the different impacts y Look at the actions taken to mitigate the negative impacts of tourism by different stakeholders y y Identify changes occurring in tourism planning in Mauritius Decisions need to be made as to what forms of tourism are best suited to a destination for the long term and for its sustainability.


Geographical Situation and Tourist Trends of Mauritius

Mauritius, an island covering 1,860 square kilometres (720 square miles), is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1242 miles) off the south East coast of Africa. More than 150 kilometres (93 miles) of white sandy beaches and transparent lagoon are protected from the open sea by the worlds third largest coral reef, which surrounds the island.

The population is estimated at 1,2 million. It forms a mosaic of different races, cultures and religions since Mauritians are descendants of immigrants from the Indian sub-continent, Africa, Europe and China. The cultural diversity and racial harmony of the island make of Mauritius a unique place. Most Mauritians are multilingual, being fluent in Creole, French and English. English is the official language. Bhojpuri, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu and Mandarin are also spoken.

Mauritius has a tropical maritime climate which is conditioned by south east trade winds. There are no extreme temperatures either in summer or in winter. In summer the temperature varies from 23c to 33c, while in winter the island registers temperatures ranging between 17c to 23c. ~2


This is what makes the island an all-year round destination due to its tropical climate and in particular the sun which visitors enjoy the most. The island is predominantly a holiday destination for beach-resort tourists, where the coastline is fringed with white beaches and protected by coral reef almost around the island. The name Mauritius itself tends to conjure images of spectacular beaches and clear lagoons. Mauritius has emerged as the most important tourist destination in the Indian Ocean. From a base of 68000 foreign visitors in 1973, this had risen to nearly 871,356 total arrivals in 2009(CSO, 2009). Since 1988, the governments stated policy towards tourism in Mauritius has been to emphasize low-impact, high spending tourism so as to maintain the islands up market profile, as a luxury beach holiday destination. For the last 40 years, the Mauritian tourism product focused mainly on the traditional 3S characteristics and was considered as an exclusive beach holiday destination. And since last year (2009) Mauritius has a brand new slogan and identity, "Mauritius - Cest un Plaisir" (MauritiusIts a Pleasure). The Brand Mauritius comprises of five major key components of proposition, personality, positioning, values and supporting messages. More thought has been given to diversification of the tourism product. Private sectors have started to provide a number of additional services such that there is more synergy among the players of the industry to set tourism on the right track.

Tourist arrivals have been expanding consequently, thus rising from 102,510 in 1977 to 656,453 in 2000. About 67% of the tourist arrivals are of European origin, with France supplying nearly half. The nearby Reunion French Territory is the most important short haul source market accounting for about 13% of total tourist arrivals. Asian residents provided 6% of tourist arrivals, almost half of which originated from the Indian Sub-Continent. In 2000, total number of nights spent by tourist was estimated to about 6.5 million, representing an increase of 13% over 1999. The average length of stay works out to around 10 nights and average expenditure per tourist reached about Rs. 22,000.



Based on the favourable growth registered in tourist arrivals, it is estimated that arrivals for the year 2001 would be around 700,000 (+10%) with total gross receipts of the order of 15,500 million rupees.

Figure 1. Trends in tourist arrivals and hotel rooms Mauritius is mainly a holiday destination for beach-resort tourists. It possesses a wide range of natural and man-made attractions, with a sub-tropical climate, clear warm sea waters, attractive beaches, tropical fauna and flora mixed by a multi-ethnic and cultural population that is friendly and welcoming. These tourism assets are, its main strength, especially since they are backed up by well-designed and run hotels, and reliable and operational services and infrastructures. The hosts are being seen product and the "hospitality atmosphere" has more and more as the nucleus of the tourism been receiving increasing attention.




According to Hall (2000), tourism planning is a kind of decision-making and policy-making which deals with a set of interdependent and systematically related decisions. Planning is not a new concept and Friedman (1973) stated that the most important characteristics of planning is directed toward the future, where there is the necessity for continuing planning analysis assessment throughout the planning period with constant re-evaluation and adjustment of means to ends. Both authors therefore suggested that the tourism planning process is a continuous framework that should be adopted. Moreover, Hall and Jenkins (1995) argued that tourism is an integral part of machinery of many governments to decide various courses of actions. Demand for tourism planning and government intervention in the development of a tourist destination may lead to unwanted negative impacts or they can be minimized. However, according to Ritcher (1989), many tourism policies involve excesses and mistakes occasioned by national tourism development. This is viewed by some as unpopular measures, leading to conflict. Still, tourism policy is meant to guide subsequent actions in a way where the destination feels more comfortable. It is a framework where present and future tourism issues are analysed and decisions taken. The policy also points out the way stated in general terms the destination would like to see happening, what it is prepared to tolerate and what will not be acceptable (Godfrey and Clarke, 2000). Therefore, the tourism planning need to be integrated within wider planning processes to maximize tourism development through economic, social and environmental enhancement.


Tourism and Development

Tourism is, without doubt, one of the major social and economic phenomena of modern times. Since the early 1900s when, as a social activity, it was largely limited to a privileged minority, the opportunity to participate in tourism has become increasingly widespread. At the same time, distinctions between both tourism destinations and modes of travel as markers of status have become less defined; tourism, in short, has become increasingly democratised (Urry, 1990b: 16). ~5


It now also accounts for the single largest peaceful movement of people across cultural boundaries in the history of the world (Lett, 1989: 277). However, tourism is not only a social phenomenon; it is also big business. Tourism has also developed into a powerful, world-wide economic force. Owing to its rapid and continuing growth and associated potential economic contribution, it is not surprising that tourism is widely regarded in practice and also in academic circles as an effective means of achieving development. That is, in b