Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism>International Travel and Tourism 2003

International Travel and Tourism 2003

  International Travel & Tourism 2003
  Back to Travel and Tourism
1. Passenger Traffic 
1.1  Total Passenger Traffic
Passenger traffic for the year 2003 totalled 1,789,180, made up of 904,990 arrivals and 884,190 departures. Compared to the preceding year, these figures represent increases of 1.6% in arrivals and 0.2% in departures. Movements by sea accounted for nearly 3% of both arrivals and departures. Table 1 shows monthly details of passenger traffic.
1.2  Excursionists
Total arrivals by air included 10,246 "excursionists", i.e. visitors arriving and leaving on the same day. Of these excursionists, 2,943 (28.7%) came from Reunion Island while 1,960 (19.1%) came from France. Total arrivals by sea included 9,965 "cruise excursionists"  (5,651 passengers and 4,314 crews) aboard 16 cruise ships which visited our port in 2003.

1.3   Mauritian Residents 

The number of Mauritian residents travelling abroad edged 0.2% lower from 161,534 in 2002 to 161,187 in 2003, and accounted for 18.2% of total departures. The following trends were recorded in the number of Mauritians visiting the major destinations: Malagasy Republic (+62.0%), United Kingdom (+16.3%), Australia (+11.6%), India (+7.4%), France (+0.9%), Republic of South Africa (-3.1%), Reunion Island (-8.8%) and Singapore (-39.7%). Table 2 shows a more detailed distribution of countries visited.

1.4 Tourist Arrivals

Tourist arrivals for the year 2003 attained 702,018, that is 3.0% higher than the figure of 681,648 in 2002. Further details are given in Tables 3 to 6.
Around 91% of the tourists came mainly for holidays while 4.4% were on business/conference trips and another 3.3% were in transit (Table 4).
Arrivals from Europe, which accounted for 66.3% of total tourist arrivals, expanded by 3.1% to 465,379 in the year 2003 against 451,504 in 2002.  Arrivals from France, our leading market, representing 28.5% of total tourist arrivals and 43.0% of the European market, regressed by 1.3% to reach 200,229. Among the other major markets, growth was recorded in arrivals from United Kingdom (+13.1%), Italy (+3.9%) and Germany (+0.4%). Trends among the other European countries were as follows: Spain (+16.9%), Sweden (+4.5%), Switzerland (+3.2%), Austria (+1.3%), Belgium (-3.9%) and Netherlands (-4.8%).
In 2003, arrivals from Africa, with a share of 24.8% of total tourist arrivals, registered a growth of 1.0% to attain 174,430. Arrivals from Reunion Island, the major generating country of the region, were down by 0.7%, while those from the Republic of South Africa were up by 7.2%. Changes in arrivals from other African countries were as follows: Comoros (+52.1%), Malagasy Republic (+17.3%), Kenya (+0.2%), Zimbabwe (-26.4%) and Seychelles (-26.7%).
Tourist arrivals from the Asian market grew by 7.9% during the reference period and constituted 6.3% of total tourist arrivals. Arrivals from India, our major source on this continent, rose by 21.4% to reach 25,367. Among the other Asian countries, the following trends were registered: United Arab Emirates (+114.7%), People's Republic of China (-12.0%), Malaysia (-18.4%), Japan (-19.7%), Singapore (-32.5%) and Hong Kong (-43.7%).
Arrivals from Oceania increased by 8.0% due mainly to a rise of 8.5% in arrivals from Australia.
Arrivals from the continent of America grew by 9.3%, being the result of growths from USA (+9.5%), Canada (+0.2%) and other American countries (+19.8%).

2. Tourist Nights

Total tourist nights spent in the country in 2003 is estimated at 7.0 million, up by 2.7% over the preceding year (Table 6).

3. Hotel Statistics

At the end of December 2003, there was a total of 97 registered hotels in operation. Owing to renovation, three hotels were not operational. The total room capacity for these registered hotels in operation was 9,647 with 19,727 bed places (Table 7). The room occupancy rate for all hotels for the year 2003 averaged 63% while the bed occupancy rate was 55% (Table 8).
"Large" hotels, i.e. well-established beach hotels with more than 80 rooms, numbered 38 (39% of all registered hotels). These "Large" hotels had a room capacity of 7,223 with 14,756 bedplaces, representing 74.8% of both total room capacity and total bedplaces. The average room occupancy rate for these hotels for 2003 was of the order of 66%, while bed occupancy rate averaged 58% (Table 8).

4. Gross Tourism Receipts

Data from the Bank of Mauritius indicate that gross tourism receipts for the year 2003 amounted to Rs 19,397 million, which were 5.8% more than the figure of Rs 18,328 million in 2002.
5. Employment
According to the Survey of Employment and Earnings, direct employment in travel and tourism establishments employing 10 persons or more, stood at 22,261 at the end of March 2003, that is 5.4% higher than last year. Of this number, 74.1% or 16,497 were engaged in hotels (Table 9).
6. Forecast Year 2004
On the basis of most recent information obtained from major stakeholders of the tourist

industry and on past trends, the forecast of tourist arrivals for 2004 is maintained at 740,000

Central Statistics Office
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Port - Louis
February 2004
            Contact person:
Mr. C.Ramnath
Ministry of Tourism & Leisure
Ken Lee Tower
Port Louis
Tel: 210-9832
Fax: 210-9851


Explanatory Notes


1. Tourist
A tourist is defined as a non-resident staying for more than 24 hours but less than a year, who is not involved in any gainful occupation in the country during his/her stay.
2. Transit
A transit passenger is one who stops over in the country for flight connections to other destinations. There are two types of transit passengers:
Type I  : Passengers who do not leave the transit area of the airport or the harbour.
Type II : Passengers  who do leave the airport or harbour and stay in the country for more than 24 hours but only for flight connection purposes.
Only Type II transit passengers, as defined above, are included in the  definition of "Tourists".
3. Excursionist or Same-day Visitor
Excursionists are non-resident visitors, other than those who do not leave the airport, who stay in the country for less than 24 hours. They also include passengers as well as crews of cruise ships.
4. Tourist Nights
"Tourist nights" means the total number of nights spent in the country by tourists, as defined above, during the period under review.
5. Large Hotels
Large hotels are well established beach hotels with more than 80 rooms.
6. CIS
CIS denotes the Commonwealth of Independent States, which consists of the   states of the former Soviet Union.
List of Tables
Back to Travel and Tourism