A Determined Minister of Tourism
We recently had the privilege of interviewing our Honourable Minister of Tourism, Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, who took a moment out of his busy schedule to share with us his vision for the tourism sector on the island. He is more than determined to explore every avenue, to upgrade, and to promote tourism in Mauritius.
We know that you have recently been appointed to the post of Minister of Tourism. This ministry is not new to you. In what state of mind are you taking the challenge of this new duty?
I am very excited about taking on this role, as I’m very optimistic about the tourism industry in Mauritius. Just like the growth of the sugar cane in the fields, I believe tourism will grow just like that and even more. We have such a rich island with magnificent landscapes and views, past and modern history, and diverse cultures and religions. Mauritius is a world in and of itself.
Mauritius is branding itself as a golf destination. How do we compete with the other traditional destinations, and bring more global awareness about golf in Mauritius?
Mauritius has so much potential as a golf destination. We have started being visible on the map by hosting the first ever Tri-sanctioned Tourna-ment, the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open. This international tournament is held every year on different championship level golf courses across the island. This year, we will hit a milestone by having the tournament broadcast on various TV sports channels worldwide. Furthermore, new golf courses are being designed and will be ready by the end of this year. Today, we count eleven 18-hole courses ready to welcome all passionate golfers with any handicap. The MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority) is currently working on a two-year action plan, together with the MGTA (Mauritius Golf Tourism Association), to which the government will also be contributing. The aim is worldwide visibility, and to establish Mauritius as a Golf Destination by using all the attributes our island and golf courses can offer.
We had an increased in the number of tourists during recent years. Are there specific strategies or plans to grow specifically the number of golfers visiting our Island?
The aim is to become unbeatable. We presently have the most golf courses in the whole of the Indian Ocean, which is very strategic if we want to be established as the premier golfing centre in this region. As for plans, the MTPA and MGTA have been working on a huge project to promote golf throughout the whole year, and especially during the low season. A user-friendly website will be launched soon, giving the possibility to anyone to book at any time for a Golf Pass and from wherever they might be located. We are also opening and broadening our service offering to new key destinations such as Germany, India, China, Vietnam, and so many others. There is always room for improvement…
Have you identified a specific segment that needs upgrading to enhance the potential of the tourism sector?
My personal ambition is for the tourist to get to know the whole island. We want to give the opportunity for tourists to explore, discover, and make the most of what Mauritius has to offer. Therefore, I believe as much as it is great to open new hotels, it is also very important to open the whole island to the outside world. I want to work closely with our inbound Tour Operators and encourage them not to sell only the hotels but the whole country as a package to the outbound operators. This new marketing approach will benefit both tourists and Mauritians in multiple ways.
How do you plan to attract investors into Mauritius tourism sector?
We remain very open to allow investors with a vision for our tourism industry, to come invest in Mauritius. For some years now, we have been actively looking at opportunities to enlarge this field. We want the island to become a tourist friendly destination.