Visibility of Mauritius as COVID-safe destination
25 Jan 2021
The Economic Development Board organized a half-day Consultative Industry Meeting on Friday 22nd January 2021 at the EDB Head Office in Port-Louis. The objective was to discuss on a concerted and joint marketing effort of all stakeholders to bolster the visibility of Mauritius as a COVID-safe destination and attract long-stay tourists in the country.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, Chairman of the EDB and gathered few private sector stakeholders, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), representatives of associations namely the Association des Hôteliers et Restaurateurs de l'île Maurice (AHRIM), Mauritius Bankers Association (MBA) , Mauritius Association of IATA Travel Agents (MAITA) , Association of Inbound Operators (AIOM), Association des Agences de Locations Saisonnieres (AALSIM), Estate Agents Association, the Real Estate Agency and officials of the Economic Development Board.
In his opening address, the Chairman of EDB, Mr. Ramnial provided an overview on the current state of the tourism sector which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He underlined that tourism contributes directly and indirectly to more than 20% of the GDP and the sector has seen a shortfall of MUR 50 billion of foreign tourism earnings. Moreover, he emphasized on the importance of re-inventing the product offering as with a view to spearhead the economic recovery. To overcome this critical situation, the Chairman of EDB appealed to stakeholders to join hands together and undertake concerted efforts to enhance and accelerate the marketing of the long-stay visa in COVID-safe Mauritius.
It should be highlighted that several schemes are already available to cater for the needs of the long-stay foreigner, namely the Premium Travel Visa, Occupation permits for investors, professionals, retired non-citizens, self-employed, innovator occupation permit as well as residence permits through acquisition of property under the PDS/IRS/RES/IHS and Smart City Schemes.
With regard to visibility of Mauritius, stakeholders mutually agreed that a common and shared message along with a coherent branding strategy should be formulated to create awareness about Premium Travel Visa.
In this perspective, Mr. Sachin Mohabeer, Head of the Industry Directorate of EDB called for the collaboration of all stakeholders to support the three-pronged action plan formulated by EDB as which constitute:
- Stakeholders to disseminate promotional materials and collaterals designed by EDB to their wide networks of contacts across the world.
- EDB to flesh out communication materials for targeted campaigns on the Premium Travel Visa and embark on aggressive marketing campaigns across key markets.
- EDB to gather insights and ideas from all stakeholders with a view to refine the product offering and be more visible on the international scene address key challenges.
The interactive session saw insightful discussions on the following subjects:
- Elaborating the new marketing strategy
- A new ecosystem/landscape to attract foreigners (professionals, tourists, retirees)
- Importance of connectivity
- Updated Repository of information on the Premium Travel Visa
- Importance of granulated data , intelligence and analytics for benchmarking
- Public sector reforms to improve & streamline procedures for foreigners
- Framework for Certified Immigration Specialists/Consultants/Agencies
To conclude, it should be highlighted that the valuable inputs gathered from key stakeholders will constitute a solid foundation on which the EDB will structure and implement its action plan for marketing Mauritius for long-stay tourists and an attractive destination for retirees.