PORT LOUIS (Reuters): Mauritius saw a 7.5 per cent increase in gross tourism receipts in the first half of 2011 to Rs. 21.3 billion ($ 760 million), data showed on Thursday.
Tourist arrivals to the Indian Ocean island rose 5.8 per cent to 439,150, the central statistics office said.
Mauritius, best known for its azure waters, white beaches and luxury spas, has pursued an aggressive international marketing campaign since suffering along with other long-haul luxury destinations during the global economic downturn.
Its hotels have also offered heavy discounts as it fights to maintain market share.
Tourism revenue for the whole year is forecast to be around Rs. 42.5 billion, 7.7 per cent up on 2010. First half arrivals from Europe rose by 3.8 percent, led by a 5.6 per cent rise in French arrivals, and a 5.9 per cent increase in German arrivals.
Visitor numbers from Asia, a market the island is increasingly looking to tap, increased by 21.7 per cent and arrivals from China jumped by 53.6 per cent. The statistics office said the average room occupancy rate for all hotels during the first half of 2011 was 65 per cent, up from 64 per cent a year earlier. ($1 = 27.950 Mauritius Rupees)