No Magazine about golf in Mauritius would be complete without an exclusive interview with the innovative founder and director of Mauritius Golf Tours, Olivier Lajeunesse.
Our reporter J.Gilbert Grant digs deeper!
You seem to have made remarkable progress in a very short time on your project called Mauritius Golf Tours. Can you tell the readers what came first, the concept, or the vision; and, now that it is an operational reality, what are the key objectives of MGT?
After almost a year, I believe that we can be proud of what we have achieved, and I’m looking forward to the years ahead. The concept came first, and the concept is 100% in the interest of the travelling golfer. The idea was to make golf bookings in Mauritius easy by providing complete assistance to the golfer. A golf trip to Mauritius can be complex in term of organisation. Knowing that Mauritius is only a dot in the Indian Ocean, the golfer needs to think about his flights, itinerary, accommodation, golf clubs, golf transfer, airport transfer, select the different golf courses, and it can all quickly become a logistical nightmare. With the growing efforts of the golf resorts, and the current prestigious golf tournaments being held in Mauritius, our concept responds to a growing need. Golfers want to come to play here, and Mauritius Golf Tours wants to be the front line one-stop-shop platform for golf on our island through our website. Our objective is to grow the recognition of our island by proposing a diverse range of connected services around golf for the golfer.
We also want to work alongside the tourism and related authorities, as well as the key golf actors to grow the recognition of our island.
Like all great business concepts, you must have believed or noticed that there was a gap in the market, or a felt need for such a platform. Can you explain just what that need is or was, and exactly how MGT responds to that need; just what is it that is unique about what MGT offers?
Tourism is a pillar for the Mauritian economy, and we had to develop a strategy to reach our target market. We identified that there was a connection missing between the golf professionals and the golfer. Most bookings are now being done online or via an app, and we could not imagine launching this concept without a great website. The team has done an amazing job on the website to feature exactly who we are. With our specialised golf platform, the golfer can book his hotel, or round of golf, get informed, and discover all the world-class golf courses Mauritius has to offer. Our platform is unique as we act as a one-stop-shop for everything related to golf in Mauritius.
Again, for a business to succeed, it needs to have a unique proposal, or compelling selling point. How would you describe that unique service or offering that MGT brings to golf as a sport, and Mauritius as a destination?
Many of our clients praise our human approach to the service that we provide; and, possibly, this is a key attribute of our service. We are certainly very passionate about what we do and also grasped early on that each request we receive is unique and different. We made the choice to understand first the needs of the client before advising him. On our website, we have displayed golf packages for singles, couples, families, group of golfers, as well as corporates wanting to combine golf and corporate functions. For example, for family packages, the MGT team can assist the non-golfing family members when the husband/wife is on the golf course.
Combining these services with the beauty of our island, we have a unique product. Our island’s beaches, landscape, people, history, and the rich culture is unique in the world. Most important is that our destination is safe which also vital when selecting a golf destination.
Clearly golfers across the world have literally thousands of destinations if they want to play a round of golf at an exotic destination. MGT seems to offer a blend of multiple and quite different courses, a major safe and upmarket tourist destination, including fabulous beaches. What is MGT doing differently to package all this into an attractive offer that golfers can’t refuse?
As I’ve stated, our only interest is for the golfer. There is an element of trust that we want to convey to our clients which eventually reassures them. Clients can trust us because we know our partners and suppliers so we are able to direct them to the most appropriate package. The world has changed and business has changed. The pricing of our packages is a vital factor. Not only do we provide a hassle-free service, but our rates are very competitive. We do not hide or misrepresent additional charges; when clients obtain our rates there are no surprises. Our golf packages displayed on the website have been worked in a most cost-effective manner and include allied services such as accommodation,transfers, and the cost of rounds of golf. In addition, should the golfer wants to add an excursion, car rental, etc., we are able to help.
I note from your website that MGT will even go so far as to offer tailor-made golf holiday packages designed precisely according to what the golfer, along with family or friends, is looking for and expecting. Tell us more about how you go about meeting such a request?
One of our star products is the golf tour experience where a complete itinerary is planned in detail together with the client. Currently, we offer two types of golf tours: the Platinum Golf Tours, and Authentic Golf Tours. This service is exclusively for the discerning traveller wanting a memorable tailor-made golf tour of Mauritius. If the client includes his contact number, one of our agents will contact him/her to discuss their ideas. Our website is a means to reach out, but we also want clients to feel that there are physical people behind the screen. The moment we have all the relevant information, the client no longer has to worry. The MGT team takes over the complete process, which in turn, allows clients simply to enjoy and experience fully the hospitality of our island. In partnership with Yu Lounge, we offer a unique service at the airport on arrival, where the handling of our guests starts at the footsteps of the aircraft. Mauritius is a luxury destination, and with this service we want to be the perfect solution, as well as a time saver for premium class clients.
Thank you for that in depth view of MGT and what it does exactly… Final question, then, where do you see the future for MGT as a business?
I am indeed very excited by Mauritius Golf Tours, and what it could potentially become in the future. I love my island; I’m very patriotic, so I really want to be able to deliver the best golf experience to golfing visitors, and become the real reference as a ground handler. There are areas of improvement that we have already identified, and I am very concerned at finding the right solutions to these. As to the future, I would say that we shall have won first prize, when we know that we have been able to create an environment where all golfers can find their place in our concept.
So, at MGT, we are ready to go the extra mile and take up the challenge of becoming a real golf specialist platform for Mauritius.