The World of Tourism is concerned with the spread of the epidemic/pandemic and has cast a huge shadow over the global economic outlook due to the inevitable consequences of travel restrictions. Tourism Business is hit tremendously. The Covid-19 outbreak has become a human tragedy. The support scheme announced by the Minister of Finance will help us to survive a few months but far more will be required to keep employment and businesses afloat. Particularly, those enterprises of subcontractors, taxis, pleasure crafts, etc. No one wants to be pessimistic. Worst predictions are 2-3 months but many think that without a cure it might take much longer.
The Republic of Mauritius is a wonderful country. Its welcoming people, breathtaking landscapes, multi-ethnic culture, rich diversity history and traditions are a few elements that make Mauritius attractive to tourists. Mauritius is a key tourist destination in the region. So, the first and the most important challenge will be to keep employment by all means and as far as possible. Once the Covid-19 is over, we sincerely hope that a tourism recovery plan will be a priority for the government. The authorities should start crafting a business plan. Private operators are already working hard to ensure that they will be ready for when the recovery time comes to help our amazing Mauritius and Rodrigues to shine again.
Tourism is now one of the biggest industries on earth and has proved again to be the most vulnerable and fragile one. I believe that the Government’s strategy, in partnership with all those working in tourism, should start now or as soon as possible. The actions call for the setting of a new strategic national body to work on a challenging target to finish 2020 and forecast for 2021. Its success will depend on a clear flow of information and by providing the right framework for tourism to climb out. We should start preparing a blueprint for more integrated promotion inclusive of widening initiatives campaigns to raise our profile and to bring back overseas visitors by the use of new internet systems, embracing new technology, allowing for inspiration and providing information on attractions options.
What about a public / private Tourism Summit to plan the future actions, to provide advice on key issues, guidance on markets, etc. we will need to be visible again. If we prepare with cohesion, will and stamina, we will be ready when the borders open again. After a slow recovery, I reckon we will witness a stretched wave of a peak season, hopefully!!! Most importantly, remember that we are all in this together.
28 March 2020