Christian Lefèvre, is the founder and owner of Coquille Bonheur, the Sustainable Mauritius Destination Management Company (DMC). He acquired a wealth of experience in the tourism field for having worked in Comores, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Mauritius. Throughout his career, Christian Lefèvre has held several top positions and has developed a keen eye for detail, a passion for marketing, and a unique talent for branding.
He was responsible for launching and managing Tourism Services Comores in Grande Comores for five years, then launched Tourism Services Zimbabwe and spent another five years establishing this operation. He was seconded on duty in Tanzania to assist the setting up of a safari operation there. Subsequently, he moved to Seychelles to run Travel Services Seychelles before returning to Mauritius in 2000 to head up White Sand Tours and AVIS Rent a Car.
He made a management buyout of IBL Tourism BU. He then sold all his shares to create “Coquille Bonheur. He is now the Owner and Managing Director of Coquille Bonheur, a high market DMC in Mauritius, where he works with clients from international tour operators and with local communities all over the country.
During his secondment in the Comores, he was involved together with Sun Resorts in the establishment of the Itsandra and Galawa Sun Hotels. Tourism Services Comores was set up to cater to inbound services. In Zimbabwe, apart from launching a successful inbound and safari operation, he was also an executive member of the Zimbabwe Tourism Board.
In Seychelles, he used to market and managed, Travel Services Seychelles (actually Creole Services Seychelles), the Desroches and Alphonse Lodges both of 20 luxury rooms and Surf Island Lodge of 10 rooms. These properties are categorised as charming hotels. There also he has served on the Seychelles Tourism Board.
He is a high caliber, visionary executive, with almost four decades of professional career, with a record of progress and achievement in tourism management. He has a complete understanding of the tourism industry. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated person, an accomplished professional with a proven track record in driving forward sales growth, through the identification and development of new business opportunities.
He utilises excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build mutually beneficial internal and external matrix relationships, adopting a confident approach to customer/supplier liaison. Quick to grasp new ideas and concepts, and to develop innovative and creative solutions to problems. He possesses a high level of commercial acumen and thrives in results orientated working environments. An experienced leader who knows how to build and manage a highly skilled team. Resilient and tenacious – never giving up!
Christian Lefèvre is a certified member of the "Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport", a fellow member of "Mauritius Institute of Directors" and has also been admitted to the degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester with specialisation in Applied Industrial Economics and the Management of International Tourism.
He has served on many tourism and business-related advisory boards in the region and Africa. In 2014, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the "Tourism Authority" by a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Mauritian government. He was presented in December 2019 with the “CEO of the Year”, a prestigious award from the Africa Leadership Awards. He is actually the President of the newly formed tourism association “F.I.T.” (Friends in Tourism).
Christian Lefèvre launched his Company in October 2006 with a clear direction at the way he wanted the business to be conducted. Christian’s vision was to start a new DMC where the customers’ experience will be the most aspect of the receptive business. He wanted his clients to be overjoyed and likewise employees to be enthusiastic about being part of such a caring company.
Drawing on his background, after more than 30 years of wealthy experience in destination management, hotels, island and safari lodges, ferry & leisure boats, travel, aviation, car rental, and finance, in different countries, such as Comores, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Seychelles and Mauritius, Christian decided to switch gears and founded a family business, Coquille Bonheur (CB), focusing on service, service and service, banking on quality, authenticity, personal care, can-do attitude, flexibility and constant concern for the right performance, concern for social commitment and concern for sustainable tourism.
After more than 14 years of operation, the award-winning Receptive Operator, CB, continues to be a dynamic company. CB is today associated with a number of celebrated industry partners who share its values of service and quality. CB is proud to be associated with distinguished international tour operators over the world.
CB is also a member of IAGTO (Golf Association), ATTA (African Travel and Tourism Association) and XO Private. As part of the ongoing efforts to bring to contribution its assistance to underprivileged children by providing food, health and education support and also to senior citizens by brightening their lives with activities made possible through CB own NGO “Lucky Shell”.
Some years ago, CB signed with “The Code” for the protection of children against sex tourism. In its quest for sustainability, its catamaran is solar-electric powered which protects the lagoon and the marine reserves. It has no emissions and no noise. Furthermore, as CB owns a fleet of vehicles for transfers and excursions, the company joined the Road Safety Campaign and signed with #SaveKidsLives to call on road transport operators to put road safety on their agenda, locally and worldwide.
With the ever-needed focus on sustainability, Christian Lefèvre dramatically steps up the pace of implementation, for the future of the people and the planet. The company made a major investment in a Mauritius tree planting programme and marks the firm’s genuine commitment to customers wanting to sustainably offset their carbon footprint and contribute to the ecological restoration, embracing the principles of sustainability. The project in itself consists of the embellishment of the space and the planting of endemic plants by clients for the Welfare of Albion inhabitants in particular and Mauritius, as a tourist destination, in general, creating environmental protection awareness thus adapt to the negative impacts of climate change by increasing carbon sinks.
The next step Christian Lefèvre has taken recently was to ban all plastic products from all its operations, be it at the offices, at the airport or during excursions onboard the vehicles.
In the course of the business, he made the difficult choices against all odds to sign with “Blood Lions”, an association against all activities with animals in captivity, be it Lions, Dolphins or turtles. CB is proud to be the only DMC in Mauritius to have signed with Blood Lions which is a pledge for wildlife. Those sustainable decisions charted a new path of balance for humanity and the planet. Christian Lefèvre has been instrumental in bringing worldwide attention to those causes.
The success of the company is based on its resourcefulness and most especially on service, service, and service with a clear understanding that the success of any hospitality organisation depends on the strength of its staff. CB has helped its partners to grow by using its local networking, knowledge and an experienced team with the ability to anticipate the needs of its partners and clients.
Christian Lefèvre believes in developing equity in tourism benefits-sharing and in the promoting of community tourism; making the locals benefit from tourism by promoting authentic excursions and activities through Mauritius cultural richness of the island through cultural diversity, its fauna and flora, its wealth of culinary flavours and landscapes.
Christian Lefèvre together with the CB Team, implemented ISO 9001:2015 to reinforce the commitment to continue to play a leading role in the field of innovative services, to continue to provide quality and quality services, astonishing experiences, to improve the credibility, the image, and the service culture.
He believes that when people choose a DMC, they want a company they can trust. CB brings that little spark that will make the difference in service in this highly demanding sector. Christian Lefèvre, through hands-on direction and ethical positioning, has helped Coquille Bonheur to develop a widespread reputation for providing a comprehensive suite of sustainable hospitality services. Being a strong believer in honesty and having a personal touch, Christian Lefèvre led his company to successfully grow in both revenue and profit.
However, he strongly believes that the future of the tourism industry lies in companies taking responsibility beyond the single bottom line and embedding the principles of sustainability into their business with the same sincerity and loyalty he credits for building his long-standing career and professional reputation. Christian Lefèvre is considered as a key figure in the local community, within prestigious tourism industry organizations and in Mauritius in general. He affirms the importance of building trust through the organisation by practicing openness, fairness, that people do speak their feeling and demonstrate competence, integrity and by being a role model himself.