GIS – 25 June 2020:Mauritius is among the first countries to have obtained the Label Safe Destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for being proactive in managing the Covid-19 situation which has had a direct repercussion on the tourism industry. This recognition bears testimony to Mauritius’ established health protocols which have been validated by the WTTC towards ensuring that the country is a safe destination in conformity with the set international norms and standards being put in place in the fight against the pandemic.
The Minister of Tourism, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, made this announcement yesterday during a press conference on the current situation and the challenges looming ahead of the Tourism sector at the seat of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority at Victoria House, Port-Louis.
He further expressed optimism as to the way forward for the Tourism sector based on the tourists’ arrivals for the past few months. Despite the sector is going through a difficult phase in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the global economy, the Tourism Minister spoke of revamping and giving a boost to tourism which is among the sectors that have been severely hit by the Covid-19 situation owing to the closure of borders as one of the preventive proactive measures implemented by Government to prevent further spread of the virus.
Among the measures to trigger and bring the tourism sector back on track, he announced the setting up of a laboratory for carrying out covid-19 rapid tests at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport to examine all passengers for a better control of the Covid-19 once the borders are reopened; a three-year moratorium for operators to become “Eco Friendly” and use renewable energy for protection of the environment as eco-tourism has become the new normal; Rs 50 million for the rebranding of the sector to compete with other competitors ; and partnership with Liverpool Football Club with a pool of 450 million fans so as to increase the visibility of Mauritius on the international scene as Mauritius will benefit from advertising during Premier League games.
Regarding the reopening of the borders Minister Lesjongard stressed that less risky countries will be tapped in the first instance and this measure is being examined by a High Level Committee chaired by the Prime Minister. He further underlined that the first tourists to stay in Mauritius from the post Covid-19 situation will have to stay in their hotels to limit contacts with the local residents and hotel personnel will also be screened.
As for the rebranding, the Minister emphasised that it is not only a rebranding of the destination, but the new "branding" must reflect the normal new aspect and the key element put in place in terms of health protocol so as Mauritius can enjoy a brand image as a Covid-19 free destination with its high-end customers.
He concluded by making an appeal to the operators in the tourism sector not to lay off workers in this period where the whole world is going through a difficult time. Since the borders were closed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the shortfall in the tourism sector is estimated at around Rs 15 billion, he said. For the month of June, a sum of Rs 500 million was invested to avoid job losses in the sector, he added.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: email@example.com Website: http://gis.govmu.org Mobile App: Search Gov