Interview with Vivek Anand
Jan - Feb 2016
Country Manager – India, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority
Targetting India as Key Market
Mauritius has been witnessing a remarkable growth in tourism traffic from India. Seeing the potential, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is focussed on various segments like MICE and destination weddings with a target of 20 pc growth from Indian market, says Vivek Anand.
What kind of growth has Mauritius witnessed as a tourism destination in India? How was 2015 in terms of business?
We have seen a remarkable rise in footfalls to Mauritius from all target groups, i.e., FIT (free independent traveller), MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), wedding, families and honeymooners. The year 2015 has been a great year for us. Over 64,000 Indian tourists visited until November 2015, which is nearly 20 pc more than the last year.
Since how long, you have been promoting Mauritius in India?
We have been promoting Mauritius since March 2014.
How has been the connectivity between India and Mauritius? Are there any plans to expand the network?
Currently, Air Mauritius operates eight direct flights from India every week – five from Mumbai, two from Delhi, one from Chennai and Bengaluru. Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) India is in discussion with Air Vivek Anand Country Manager – India, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority Mauritius to increase the number of flights from India keeping in view the increasing interest of the Indian travellers.
How important is Indian market for Mauritius?
India is an important emerging market for tourism in Mauritius and contributes over seven pc of the tourist arrivals.
Any plans in the MICE category?
Mauritius serves as a perfect MICE destination. To promote the island as a MICE or a wedding destination, MTPA India is participating in MICE shows, wedding fairs and organising seminars in India to educate the tour operators and corporates. We are also organising familiarisation trips for MICE agents and wedding planners to give them a first-hand experience of the destination.
What segments are you focussing on specifically?
We are focussing on HNIs (high net worth individuals), FITs, MICE, weddings, families, solo woman traveller and honeymoon segments.
How can Indian film industry drive a growth in tourism?
There are a number of South Indian and Hindi films being shot in Mauritius every year. MTPA India is continuously in touch with film and television serial producers to shoot in Mauritius.
Do you think that the emerging trends in visitors’ motivation and behavior are changing?
Higher disposable incomes and changing lifestyles have resulted in shifting travel preferences of the Indian travellers. They are now looking for out-of-the-box experiences. This has created segments such as luxury, cruise, wellness, golf, adventure, culinary and shopping.
How has been the visa procedure?
Mauritius offers visa on arrival, free of charge, for Indian passport holders.
What is the target for 2016?
We are targeting an increase between 15 to 20 pc in the tourist arrivals.