Tourist arrival numbers to Mauritius and Seychelles continued to improve through February although the Mauritian government said the strength of recovery in the sector had been subdued by a weakening euro. Visitor arrivals to Seychelles from January 1 to March 7 reached 31 330, up 14 percent on the same period last year, official data showed. Meanwhile, tourist arrivals to Mauritius during January and February were up 4,9 percent on last year at 164 223, with French holiday-makers leading the rebound.


"We are satisfied with this performance although the recovery still is very slow as the depreciation of the euro is impacting on the purchasing power of the European visitors," said Mauritius' tourism minister, Xavier Luc Duval. Both luxury market destinations have aggressively discounted prices since the global downturn's outset to hold on to market share.


France remained Mauritius' strongest market, with French arrivals climbing 17,6 percent in February against a year ago, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said on Wednesday. France also dominated the Seychelles market.


Best known for its azure waters and luxury spas, Mauritius forecasts tourism revenues for the year will tip 40-billion rupees compared to 35,6-billion rupees in 2009. It is targeting one million tourists arrivals this year, spurred by an expected resurgence in the Italian market. - Reuters





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