About Mauritius

mauritiusAs Mauritians, we have much to be proud about. Mauritius enjoys a degree of social harmony and cultural understanding that makes it a model for successfully promoting the benefits of ethnic diversity and co-existence. With a long heritage of stability and security, Mauritius has been consistently rated as the best run country in the region. Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean about 4.5 hours flight from South Africa. The island is surrounded by more than 150km of sandy beaches and the lagoon is well protected by the coral reefs which act as a barrier to the open sea. Other countries may be as beautiful but the Mauritian smile is natural and genuine. The friendliness and kindness entice visitors to return again and again. Mauritius gives you the time and space to relax and unwind. It also gives you a renewed sense of well-being.

1Brief History (1511)

The island had for a long time remained unknown and uninhabited. It was probably visited by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages, and shown on maps as `Dina Arobi'. The Portuguese was the first European to land on the island at around 1511. Don Pedro Mascarenhas gave the name Mascarenes to the group of islands now known as Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion. The Portuguese did not stay long as they were not interested in those islands.

2The Dutch period (1598-1710)

In 1598, a Dutch squadron, named the island "Mauritius", in honour of Prince Maurice Van Nassau of Holland. However, it was not until 1638 that there was a first attempt of Dutch settlement. The first Dutch settlement lasted only twenty years. They are remembered for the introduction of sugar-cane, domestic animals and deer.

bataille1The French period (1715-1810)

Abandoned by the Dutch, the island became a French colony in 1715. The island was named "Isle de France". Under the French occupation, numerous buildings were built, a number of which are still standing today - part of Government House, the Chateau de Mon Plaisir at Pamplemousses and the Line Barracks. In 1810 a strong British expedition was sent to capture the island. "Isle de France" regained its former name `Mauritius'. In the act of capitulation, the British guaranteed that they would respect the language, the customs, the laws and the traditions of the inhabitants.

3The British Period (1810)

The British abolished slavery and this had important repercussions on the socio-economic and demographic fields.The planters turned to India, from where they brought a large number of indentured labourers to work in the sugar cane fields. They were later joined by a small number of Chinese traders. Cultivation of sugar cane was given a boost and the island flourished, especially with the export of sugar to England.

clavisPolitical System (1968)

Politics of Mauritius takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government who is assisted by a council of Ministers.Mauritius has a multi-party system.

8Economy (After 1992)

The Mauritian economy, which started off with sugar as its main pillar gradually diversified into the textile industry in the late 1970s before further diversifying into the services sectors such as tourism and financial services sectors. The four pillars of the economy are currently the sugar, EPZ, tourism and service sectors.

The First Steps of The Mauritius Tourism Industry

It is a fact that the days of the pioneers come shortly after a country's independence. What were needed therefore were several men and a vision. There were above all two men who always expressed faith in this industry's destiny: Amédée Maingard, an Entrepreneurial Leader and Sir Gaëtan Duval, a Charismatic Political Leader. These two men were alike in that they were both extremely intelligent and had unlimited love for their country. Long before others were to realise it, they saw that Mauritius had great tourist potential

Amédée Maingard founded Air Mauritius in 1967. Those who had expressed scepticism in the greatest degree were finally convinced by the figures: from 25 000 visitors in 1970 to 964,642 in 2011! Sir Gaëtan Duval was the one who offered the right advice as he realised that Mauritius would only be a successful tourist destination if she created a specific image.

He was a man who liked royalty and the Jet Set. He thus decided that Mauritius would become their last refuge, their end of the world luxury resort. The country became an upmarket destination. However, Mauritian tourism would not have enjoyed a successful start without the presence of a few remarkable people as the managers of hotel groups who shot a burst of energy into the hotels sector.

After the Royal Palm Hotel and the Saint Géran Hotel, setting totally new standards, there followed a long list of hotels opening up and showing the same type of ambition: polished service, irreproachable quality, exquisite cuisine and value added sets of activities. As for Tour Operators, their role had so far been almost limited to that of transport agents. They then began to offer genuine excursion-discovery programmes, while Air Mauritius put the final touches to its reputation as one of the world's best airlines.