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Survey of Outgoing Tourists 2000


  Survey of Outgoing Tourists 2000
 

1. Objective
2. Methodology
    2.1 Field work
    2.2 Response
    2.3 Sample covered 
    2.4 Processing
3. Concepts and definitions
    3.1 Unit of enquiry
    3.2 Party
    3.3 Country of residence
    3.4 Package or inclusive tour
    3.5 Expenditure
4. Main findings
    4.1
Tourist profile
    4.2
Length of stay
    4.3
Tourist expenditure
5.
Tourist profile
    5.1
Age and sex distribution
    5.2
Country of residence
    5.3
Party size and travel companions
    5.4
Travel arrangement
    5.5
Activity status and occupation
    5.6
Main purpose of visit
    5.7
Type of accommodation
    5.8
Motivation of visit
    5.9
Motivation of factor
    5.10
Lead times for decision on trip & booking of trip
    5.11
Frequency of visit
6.
Length of stay
    6.1
Length of stay by country of residence
    6.2
Length of stay by travel arrangement
    6.3
Length of stay by purpose of visit
    6.4
Length of stay by type of accommodation
7.
Tourist expenditure
    7.1
Expenditure by country of residence
    7.2
Expenditure by travel arrangement
    7.3
Expenditure by purpose of visit
    7.4
Expenditure by type of accommodation
    7.5
Expenditure by frequency of visit
    7.6
Distribution of expenditure by major items
8.
Rating of services
    8.1
Flight services
    8.2
Airport services
    8.3
Accommodation services
    8.4
Sightseeing tours
    8.5
Boating facilities
9. Security level
    9.1
Beaches
    9.2
Public places
    9.3
Tourist sites
10.
State of environment
    10.1
Beaches
    10.2
Public places
    10.3
Tourist sites
    10.4
The country in general
11.
Rating of price of services
    11.1
Price of accommodation
    11.2
Price of food
    11.3
Price of drinks
    11.4
Price of local transport
12.
Competitiveness with other island destinations
    12.1
Other islands visited
    12.2
Price levels
    12.3
Hospitality
    12.4
Quality of the tourism product
13.
Expectation evaluation
14.
Sightseeing
15.
Suggestions to improve our destination
    15.1
Transport & communication
    15.2
Environment
    15.3
The airport
    15.4
Hotels
    15.5
Beaches/tourist sites
    15.6
Other
I - Tables
II -
Profile by country of residence-I
III -
Profile by country of residence-II
IV -
Profile by country of residence-III
V -
Profile by country of residence-IV
VI -
Profile by purpose of visit
VII -
Questionnaire

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                                                                                                   1. OBJECTIVE


The primary objective of the 2000 Survey of Outgoing Tourists was to obtain more comprehensive statistical information relating to foreign tourists who visit the country. This supplements the basic tourism statistics already being collected from administrative sources, and serves to provide for better planning and marketing decisions. The data collected were obtained at the airport from the outgoing tourists and covered the following items:

(a) the profile of the tourists (sex, age, occupation, purpose of visit, etc.)
(b) the spending pattern of the tourists.
(c) appreciation of the tourism product as well as suggestions.

                                                                                                2. METHODOLOGY

2.1 Field work

Data were collected during one whole week for each month of the year 2000. The survey weeks were chosen on a rotative basis, the first one being chosen at random. Thus if the first week was chosen in January, the second week in February would be chosen, the third week in March and so on. This ensured representativity of all weeks and all months in the sample, at the same time taking care of seasonality and other fluctuations. 

A trained team of ten Interviewers, two Supervisors and a Senior Supervisor was responsible for the interview of departing tourists at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The field staff worked in two shifts of five interviewers each. The target population was all outgoing tourists except members of diplomatic corps and visitors holding working permits. 

Practically all departing flights were covered during the selected weeks.

In order to ensure that tourists from the major generating countries were adequately covered, the questionnaire, originally in English and French, was translated into German, Italian and Japan

2.2 Response

The response rate was very high (around 93%). In fact those few who declined to co-operate just could not do otherwise because of their late arrival for check-in formalities. 

2.3 Sample covered

No “a priori” sample design was established in the sense that the number of interviews to be conducted was not calculated on any pre-determined quota based on the country of residence or any other basic profiles of the tourist such as sex, age, purpose of visit or travel arrangement.  Interviews were conducted on a “first available” basis, that is tourists were approached for interview as they entered the departure lounge after check-in formalities, depending on the availability of the Interviewer. The Supervisor had to closely monitor the situation and ensure representativeness among all departing flights by later directing interviewers to those departing visitors who had not yet been interviewed.  Globally, 13,559 interviews were conducted, covering 28,073 tourists when considering the party size. Therefore, the number of tourists interviewed represented around 4% of total tourists visiting Mauritius for the year 2000. Table (i) shows the distribution of respondents by country of residence compared to the distribution as obtained from embarkation and disembarkation cards.

Table (i) - Distribution of parties and persons by country of residence

When comparing the proportions of tourists from the two sources, we noticed that they are slightly different. Such differences may be due to sampling or the practice of tourists from certain countries to check in at the last minute.

2.4 Processing 

The completed questionnaires were scrutinised on the spot by the two Supervisors for completeness and consistencies. Further editing and coding were performed at the Statistical Unit of the Ministry of Tourism & Leisure.  
The data were then captured and processed using the Integrated Microcomputer Processing System (IMPS) version 3.1, a statistical package developed by the US Bureau of Census.


                                                                                         3 - CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

The concepts and definitions used are based on the recommendation of the World Tourism Organisation, some of which have been adapted to suit local conditions. 

3.1 Unit of inquiry

The unit of inquiry is the tourist. The latter is defined as a non-resident staying in the country for more than 24 hours but less than a year. 
A tourist may be travelling alone or in a group.

3.2 Party

The travelling unit is the “party”, which usually consists of one or more members for whom individual expenditures are not available separately. Thus, for certain sections of the questionnaire, the information obtained may refer to more than one tourist. The size of the “party” is the total number of persons present in the “party”. This has been taken into consideration when calculating average expenditure per tourist.

3.3 Country of residence

Tourist arrivals in Mauritius are compiled on the basis of the permanent address of the tourist, which may not be the same as his nationality.

3.4 Package or inclusive tour

A package tour is defined as one in which airfare, accommodation and other items such as meals, sightseeing, car hire are included in the tour price paid before departure from the home country. The package may include other countries besides Mauritius.


3.5 Expenditure

Expenditure is noted in the currency mentioned by the respondent, and is later converted into Mauritian rupees using the exchange rates prevailing at the time of the survey. 
Expenditure figures relate to expenses incurred by the tourists during their stay in the country and include items like accommodation, meals and beverages, local transportation, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping etc. However, expenses on international fares paid to carriers are excluded. 

During the analysis, the concepts expenditures “per capita” and “per capita per diem” have been used. The first one refers to total expenditure incurred per tourist for the whole stay and the second one relates to average expenditure per tourist per night.  The method of calculating tourism expenditure by means of Airport Exit Surveys is widely used internationally, but problems arise for tourists travelling on package tour. The cost of package has to be broken down in order to obtain the proportion which accrues to hotels, tour operators etc. in Mauritius. Based on available data, it is assumed that 34% of the cost of package goes to the local hoteliers. In addition, further imputation is required in case the package includes other destinations besides Mauritius.

                                                                                                  4. MAIN FINDINGS

4.1 Tourist profile 

72% of tourists interviewed were males and 28% were females.
The mean age of a male tourist was 40.2 years while that for female was 39.3 years 
The average party size was 2.1  
61% of the tourists interviewed travelled on package. 
82% of the respondents were employed, 10% were retired persons, 3% were students and another 3% were housewives 
Among the tourists who were in employment, 58% were professionals or managers, 21% technicians while the rest (21%) were employed at clerical level or below. 
74% of the tourists were on holiday in Mauritius, 11% of them were on honeymoon, 9% on business and 4% visiting friends or relatives. 
76% of the respondents stayed in hotel, 8% in bungalow, 6% in boarding houses and 7% with friends. 
37% of the tourists were motivated by their friends while 23% were influenced by tour operators. 
Repeat tourists accounted for 33% of the sample.
95% of the respondents expressed complete satisfaction about their stay in general. 

4.2 Length of stay  

6 On average, a tourist spent 9.6 nights in Mauritius.  
6 Tourists travelling on package tour spent 8.5 nights on average compared to 11.5 nights for non-package tourists. 
6 Tourists coming on holidays stayed on average 9.5 nights compared to 9.1 nights for honeymooners and 9.0 nights for businessmen. Respondents who came to visit friends or relatives in Mauritius stayed longer i.e. 15.5 nights. 
6 Tourists staying in hotels spent on average 8.5 nights compared to 12.9 nights for those staying in bungalows; 9.2 nights for those staying in boarding houses and 15.5 nights for those staying with their friends or relatives. 
6 The length of stay of a repeat tourist was higher than that of tourists who were on their first visit, 10.5 nights compared to 9.2 nights.


4.3 Tourist expenditure

On average, a tourist spent Rs 21,612 during his stay. 
The average expenditure per tourist per night amounted to Rs 2,254. 
 On average, a package tourist spent more per person per night (Rs 2,851) than a non-package one (Rs 1,514). 
On average, honeymooners were the highest spenders per person per night (Rs 2,917), followed by business travellers (Rs 2,286) and those coming on holidays (Rs 2,262).  
A tourist who stayed in hotel spent on average Rs 2,858 per night compared to Rs 1,256 for someone staying in boarding house and Rs 1,154 if stayed in bungalow. 
A tourist who visited Mauritius for the first time spent on average Rs 2,488 per night compared to Rs 1,811 for a repeat tourist. 
Of the total expenditure, the tourist spent around 53% on accommodation, 17% on meals and beverages, 14% on shopping, 7% on transport and 6% on sightseeing and entertainment.

                                                                                                  5. TOURIST PROFILE

5.1 Age and sex distribution

Table (ii) shows the age and sex distribution of the tourists interviewed. About 72% of the respondents were males and 74% of them were aged between 20 and 49 years. The mean age of the surveyed population was 40.0 years. Generally the average age of honeymooners (28.1 yrs) was lower than those coming for other purposes. The mean age of business travellers was 39.7 yrs while for holidaymakers it was 41.8 yrs.

Table (ii) - Distribution of tourists interviewed by age and sex

5.2 Country of residence

The distribution of tourists interviewed by continent was as follows: Europe (66%), Africa (26%), Asia (4%) and the remaining 4% from America and Oceania.
The majority of the tourists interviewed (33%) were from France, which is our usual main generating country, followed by United Kingdom (13%), Reunion Island (12%), Republic of South Africa (10%), Germany (6%), Italy (5%) and Other Countries (21%).


5.3 Party size and travel companions – Table 1

 

The 13,559 parties interviewed included a total of 28,073 persons, that is an average of 2.1 tourists per party.
Of the total number of tourists interviewed, 21% of them travelled alone to Mauritius while the majority (64%) came in groups of two. Only a small percentage (2%) visited the country in group of five or more. About 1,355 (10%) parties were accompanied by children of twelve years or less.

Table (iii) - Distribution of parties by size of party

An analysis by continent indicated that the European tourists had an average party size of 2.1 with the following distribution for the major generating countries:France (2.2), UK (2.1), Germany (2.1), Italy (2.1) and Switzerland (2.0). For the continent Africa, the average party size worked out to 2.0 with figures of 2.1 for Reunion Island and 2.0 for Republic of South Africa while Malagasy Republic and Kenya had the lowest average party size of 1.5, which may be explained by the high level of business tourists among them. The average party size for tourists coming from Asia was 2.0 with the following results from the main countries: Japan (2.2), India (2.1) and Singapore (1.7).
Holidaymakers recorded the highest average party size (2.2) while respondents coming for business travelled in smaller party size (1.3). For honeymooners and respondents visiting friends and relatives, the average party size was 2.0 and 1.6 respectively.
Analysis by type of accommodation revealed that the average party size of respondents who stayed in bungalows was the highest (2.3), followed by those staying in hotels (2.1) and those staying in boarding houses (1.9).

Table (iv) - Average party-size


5.4 Travel arrangement

The proportion of tourists who travelled on package tour has gone down from 63% in 1998 to 61% in 2000. Package tour was more popular among tourists from: Italy (85%), Spain (84%), United Kingdom (77%) and Austria (76%).

With the exception of the Republic of South Africa with 69% of the tourists coming on package tour, tourists from the other short-haul markets preferred making their own travel arrangements. The proportions of tourists coming on package from these countries were: Reunion Island (47%), Zimbabwe (30%), Seychelles (15%) and Malagasy Republic (10%).

Tourists coming for honeymoon had a far higher preference for package tour (92%) compared to those coming on holiday (64%) and business (24%).

About 79% of tourists who stayed in hotels, came on package tour compared to 17% and 6% for those staying in boarding houses and bungalows respectively. 

An analysis of travel arrangement by frequency of visit reveals an inverse relationship between the two variables. It was found that 71% of the tourists who came for the first time was on package tour compared to 50% for those on their second visits and 35% for the tourists coming for the third or more often. This relationship may be explained by the fact that when tourists become more familiar with the tourism product, there is an increased tendency for them to make their own reservations for accommodation and other arrangements to seek possibility for the best value for money.

Among the 8,310 tourists travelling on package tour, 1,567 or 19% had at least another destination included. Reunion Island (70%) was by far the most common destination that complemented Mauritius in multi-destination package tour, followed by Republic of South Africa (10%) and Seychelles (8%).

Table (v) - Travel arrangement


5.5 Activity status and occupation

The majority (82%) of the tourists interviewed were employees, 10% were retired persons while students and housewives each accounted for 3% of the sample. The percentage of retired persons witnessed a rise from 8% in 1998 to 10% in 2000, while that of employees fell from 84% to 82%. Countries with the highest proportion of retired persons were: France (15%), Reunion Island (14%), Australia (12%) and United Kingdom (11%).

The survey reveals that the housewives were most common among respondents from Zimbabwe (12%) and Malagasy Republic (10%).

Among the respondents who were in employment, around 58% were in the top socio-professional group, being either professionals or managers, 21% were technicians and the remaining 21% were of clerical level or below.

Table (vi) - Percentage distribution of respondents by activity status, 1998 & 2000


 

5.6 Main purpose of visit – Table 5
 


The proportion of tourists coming on holiday went up from 72% in 1998 to 74% in 2000, while honeymooners fell from 15% to 11%. In 2000, tourists coming on business or to attend seminar accounted for 9% of the sample, a figure which is more or less the same as that recorded in 1998.

Table (vii) - Percentage distribution of respondents by purpose of visit, 1998 & 2000

Tourists from the following European countries came mostly on holidays: Germany (88%), Sweden (86%), Austria (85%), Switzerland (82%) and France (80%).

Mauritius, as a honeymoon destination, had attracted mostly European tourists from Spain (40%), Italy (26%), United Kingdom (16%), Belgium (13%), Switzerland (13%) and France (12%). Among the Asian countries, honeymooners were more frequent from Japan (28%) and India (19%).

The countries with a high concentration of business tourists were Singapore (50%), Kenya (45%), Malagasy Republic (40%), India (28%), USA (24%), South Africa (22%) and Hong Kong (20%).


5.7 Type of accommodation –Table 6


The type of accommodation chosen by the tourists interviewed witnessed a slight evolution from 1998 to 2000. The proportion of tourists staying in hotels went down from 78% in 1998 to 76% in 2000 and those staying in bungalow decreased marginally from 9% in 1998 to 8% in 2000. On the other hand, the percentage of tourists who stayed in boarding house rose from 5% to 6% and those staying with friends or relatives from 6% to 7%.

Table (viii) - Percentage distribution of tourists interviewed by type of accommodation, 1998 & 2000

Around 82% of the tourists from Europe, 76% from Asia and 63% from Africa stayed in hotels. For Europe, this percentage oscillated between 75 % for France to 98% for Spain. Among the Asian countries, all the Japanese tourists chose this type of accommodation compared to 71% for India.

As regards the African continent, most of the tourists from South Africa (83%) and Kenya (68%) stayed in hotels. Those from the other African countries preferred informal accommodation as shown by the proportion staying in bungalows or boarding houses: Malagasy Republic (52%), Seychelles (36%), Zimbabwe (29%) and Reunion Island (24%).

The tourists who resided with their friends or relatives were more common among the following countries: Seychelles (27%), Reunion Island (19%), Australia (14%) Malagasy Republic (13%) and India (12%).


5.8 Motivation of visit - Table 7


The tourists on holiday or honeymoon were surveyed on the factors that influenced them to choose Mauritius for their trip. Around 37% said that they were influenced by friends while 23% of them were motivated by tour operators. Nearly 21% of the respondents were inspired by their previous visits. The share of publicity as a motivation factor was 16%.

The contribution of tour operators in selling Mauritius as a tourist destination in Europe was quite significant, as shown by the following proportions of tourists who came through tour operators: Italy (40%), Austria (37%), Spain (37%) and United Kingdom (32%). As far as Asian markets were concerned, tour operators motivated almost 21% of the tourists, largely from Japan (44%), Hong Kong (31%) and Singapore (23%). Only 9% of tourists from the African countries visited Mauritius through the services of a tour operator.

Tourists, who were motivated by their previous visits, were mostly from neighbouring countries: Reunion Island (66%), Seychelles (54%) and Malagasy Republic (48%).

5.9 Motivation factor – Table 8

The tourists who were on holiday or honeymoon were also asked about the factor that influenced them most to come to Mauritius. The majority (46%) was attracted by the ‘Tropical Image’, followed by beaches (30%), accessibility (9%) and the people (7%).  The tropical image of Mauritius appealed mostly to European tourists (52%); and on a country-wise basis, 65% of tourists from Italy were motivated by this image, followed by Austria (64%) and United Kingdom (57%). Tourists from Asian countries were mostly attracted by our beaches as follows: India (53%), Singapore (46%) and Hong Kong (31%). As to be expected, tourists from neighbouring countries chose Mauritius as destination mainly for its accessibility: Reunion Island (40%),Seychelles (28%) and Malagasy Republic (26%).


5.10 Lead times for decision on trip and booking of trip – Table 9 & 10

The tourists were asked about their lead times to decide for the present trip and their corresponding booking time. On average it was found that the tourists made their decision to come to Mauritius some three and a half months prior to their visit but their booking lead times of their trip were almost two and half months.

Analysis by country of residence shows that countries from Europe (3.9 months) recorded the longest decision lead times followed by Oceania (3.8 months), Africa (2.3 months) and Asia (1.8 months). As regards the booking lead times, the pattern noted was: Europe (2.8 months), Oceania (2.8 months), Africa (1.5 months) and Asia (1.3 months).

5.11 Frequency of visit – Table 11

The number of tourists who visited Mauritius for the first time accounted for 67% of the sample. Another 12% were on their second visit while 10% came to Mauritius on six occasions or more. The proportion of repeat tourists rose from 30% in 1998 to 33% in 2000.
 

Repeat visits were more prominent among tourists from the neighbouring countries. Thus 84% of the tourists from Seychelles, 84% from Reunion Island and 73% from Malagasy Republic were repeaters. Among the European countries, 23% of tourists from both France and Belgium visited Mauritius for at least a second time.


                                                                                                       6. LENGTH OF STAY

6.1 Length of stay by country of residence
 

The average length of stay per tourist worked out to be 9.6 nights against 9.9 for the year 1998. In general, European tourists had a tendency to stay longer, an average of 10.2 nights compared to Asians (8.6 nights) and Africans (8.0 nights).
Tourists from Germany stayed for the longest period, averaging 12.8 nights followed by Switzerland (12.5 nights). For our main generating country, France, an average length of stay of 9.3 nights was registered. Regional tourists are disposed to a shorter stay as follows: Republic of South Africa (8.5 nights) and Reunion Island (6.8 nights). Tourists from Asian countries spent 5 to 9 nights. Asian countries with the longest average length of stay were India (9.4 nights), Singapore (5.7 nights) and Japan (5.5 nights).

6.2 Length of stay by travel arrangement

A tourist who travelled on his own spent an average of 11.5 nights compared to 8.5 nights for somebody on package tour.

Table (ix) - Average length of stay by travel arrangement, 1998 & 2000

Compared to 1998, the average length of stay of a non-package tourist was rather stable at 11 nights while for those coming on package tour fell from 9.2 nights in 1998 to 8.5 nights in 2000.


6.3 Length of stay by purpose of visit
 


Tourists who came to visit their friends or relatives stayed for a longer period than the others, with an average length of stay of 15.5 nights. On average, tourists who came on holiday spent 9.5 nights compared to 9.1 nights for honeymooners and 9.0 nights for business travellers.

Table (x) - Average length of stay by purpose of visit, 1998 & 2000

In 2000, tourists who visited their friends or relatives, stayed for a shorter period averaging 15.5 nights against 19.4 nights in 1998. No significant change in average length of stay was noted for those on holiday, honeymoon and business.

6.4 Length of stay by type of accommodation

The shortest stay was observed among tourists staying in hotels, i.e. an average of 8.5 nights followed by those staying in boarding houses (9.2 nights). As might be expected, tourists choosing the non-formal type of accommodation stayed longer, with length of stay averaging 12.9 nights for bungalow and 15.5 nights for those staying with friends or relatives.

Table (xi) - Average length of stay by type of accommodation, 1998 & 2000


                                                                                             7. TOURIST EXPENDITURE 

7.1 Expenditure by country of residence – Table 16

As underlined in the definitions, it should be noted that "per capita" expenditure refers to the total expenditure incurred per tourist for the whole stay while "per capita per diem" expenditure relates to average expenditure per tourist per night.

On average it was found that a tourist spent around Rs 21,600 during his stay in the country in 2000 against nearly Rs 21,100 in 1998 showing an increase of 2.4% over the two years. Simultaneously, the per capita per diem expenditure increased from Rs 2,130 in 1998 to Rs 2,250 in 2000. Based on these results, total tourism receipts for 2000 worked out to Rs 14,187 mn, a figure which is close to the figure of Rs 14,234 mn estimated by the Bank of Mauritius in 2000.

Tourists from European countries were among the highest spenders followed by visitors from Oceania and America. Analysis by country of residence shows that tourists from U.K were the top spenders with an average of Rs 36,360 per tourist, followed by Spain with an average per capita expenditure of Rs 31,950 and Sweden with a figure of Rs 31,300.

However, on comparing the figures on a per capita per diem basis, it is noted that tourists from Japan were the highest spenders with an average of Rs 5,220 per tourist per day followed by those from Spain with a figure of Rs 4,430. The lowest per diem spenders were the regional tourists: Reunion Island (Rs 1,460), Malagasy Republic    (Rs 1,320) and Seychelles (Rs 1,130).

Table (xii) - Average expenditure from selected countries
 


7.2 Expenditure by travel arrangement – Table 18 

Tourists on package tour spent much more than those making their own arrangements, i.e. an average expenditure of Rs 24,100 for package tourists against Rs 17,400 for non-package ones.
Expenditure on a per capita per diem basis revealed a similar trend with persons travelling on package tours spending Rs 2,850 per person per day while their non-package counterparts spent Rs 1,510.

On a per diem basis, Japanese tourists travelling on package tours were again the highest spenders with an average amount of Rs 5,970, followed by tourists from Spain and Hong Kong with average expenditure of Rs 4,120 and Rs 4,110 respectively

7.3 Expenditure by purpose of visit – Table 19


Honeymooners were found to be the highest spenders on a per diem basis with an average of Rs 2,900 per tourist per day, compared to Rs 2,290 for business travellers and Rs 2,260 for holidaymakers. Tourists visiting their friends or relatives were those who spent the least per capita per diem (Rs 800). This is explained by the fact that they did not have to incur that much expenses on accommodation, being generally lodged at their friend’s or relative’s place.


Table (xiii) - Average expenditure by purpose of visit, 1998/2000


7.4 Expenditure by type of accommodation – Table 20

Tourists staying in hotels spent, on average, Rs 24,200 per person in 2000 compared to Rs 23,400 in 1998, up by 3.4%. Those staying in bungalows spent an average of Rs 14,900 in 2000, which was 4.6% more than the figure of Rs 14,240 in 1998. For those residing in boarding houses, the average expenditure stood at Rs 11,520 in 2000 against Rs 11,490 in 1998, edged 0.3% higher. 

Table (xiv) - Average expenditure by type of accommodation, 1998 & 2000
 

On average, a tourist staying in hotels spent Rs 2,860 daily, which was more than double the amount spent by someone choosing a bungalow or boarding house as their lodging place. Tourists staying with friends or relatives had the lowest per capital per diem expenditure which was as little as Rs 730.

7.5 Expenditure by frequency of visit – Table 21

A tourist who visited Mauritius for the first time spent on average an amount of Rs 2,490 per person per day compared to Rs 1,810 for a repeat tourist. Such trend may be explained by the tendency to go for value for money for the tourist already familiar with the tourism product. 


7.6 Distribution of expenditure by major items – Table 22

Around 53% of the total expenditure incurred by the tourists was spent on accommodation. Other major items of expenditure were meals & beverages (17%) and shopping (14%). The remaining was spent on transport (7%), entertainment (6%) and other items. A more detailed presentation is given hereunder:

Table (xv) –Percentage distribution of expenditure by major items, 1998 & 2000

Continentwise, accommodation constituted 55% of the total amount spent by European tourists compared to 50% for Asians and 40% for Africans. On the other hand, the Africans spent 24% of their total expenditure on shopping compared to 16% for Asians and 12% for Europeans.
 

As regards the expenditure on shopping, tourists from the neighboring countries allocated a major part of their budget on that item: Malagasy Republic (51%), Seychelles (51%) and Reunion Island (28%). For the Europeans, it varied between 9% to 14%. This feature may be explained by the fact that the regional tourists often coupled their stay with lot of shopping despite their main purpose being for holiday.


                                                                                            8. RATING OF SERVICES

The respondents were asked to rate the level of some specific services from '1' to '5' with '1' being very poor and '5' being excellent. The following results were obtained. 

8.1 Flight services – Table 23

Around 78% of the tourists interviewed expressed complete satisfaction for the flight services compared to only 5% who were not satisfied at all.
Countrywise, 20% of tourists from Hong Kong were not satisfied with the level of flight services. 

8.2 Airport services – Table 24

The tourists interviewed were satisfied with the airport services rated with a high level (good or excellent) of satisfaction (77%), compared with 17% rating it as fair and 6% as poor.
The respondents who least appreciated the services at the airport were from Belgium (10%), Hong Kong (10%) and Australia (9%).

8.3 Accommodation services – Table 25

About 90% of the tourists were highly satisfied (good or excellent) with their accommodation while only 2% rated the services as poor.

High level of appreciation of accommodation services was noted from the following countries: Belgium (95%), United Kingdom (95%) and Switzerland (92%).

8.4 Sightseeing tours – Table 26

Around 88% of the respondents rated a high level of satisfaction (good or excellent) for sightseeing tours and 2% of them were not satisfied at all. 

The satisfaction level was at its optimum level for respondents from:Kenya (100%), Zimbabwe (98%), Republic of South Africa (92%) and Seychelles (92%). The highest proportion (7%) of tourists who were not satisfied with sightseeing tours was noted among those coming from Hong Kong.

8.5 Boating facilities – Table 27

Among the tourists who made use of the boating facilities, 91% of them expressed full satisfaction giving note '4' to '5'.

The boating facilities were highly appreciated by respondents from: Kenya (100%), Zimbabwe (96%) Sweden (96%).

                                                                                               9. SECURITY LEVEL


The respondents were also asked to rate the level of security at some specific places from '1' to '5', '1' being very poor and '5' being excellent. The following results were noted. 

9.1 Beaches – Table 28

Nearly 91% of the tourists interviewed perceived the level of security on beaches as high (good or excellent) compared to 2% rating it as poor.

The beaches were viewed to be highly secured by tourists from: Sweden (99%), Kenya (97%), Singapore (96%) and United States of America (95%). 

9.2 Public places – Table 29

Public places were considered to be relatively less secured than beaches as revealed by the lower level (84%) of those rating security as high (good or excellent) but tourists rating security as poor were almost negligible (3%).

Public places were noted highly secured by tourists from Singapore (92%), India (92%), Spain (89%), Sweden (88%), Switzerland (88%), United Kingdom (88%) and United States of America (87%). On the other hand, respondents who rated the level of security as poor were mainly from: Seychelles (8%), Reunion Island (6%) and Japan (6%).

9.3 Tourist sites – Table 30

The evaluation of the level of security at the tourist sites was again at a high level (good or excellent), with 91% of the tourists interviewed giving score of '4' to '5'.

Tourists from countries like Singapore (100%), Kenya (96%), Sweden (94%) and India (94%) were the ones who found tourist sites to be highly secured. Those who were not satisfied with security level were from Australia (3%) and Japan (3%). 


                                                                                          10. STATE OF ENVIRONMENT

Environment is one of the major issues that influence tourists in their final decision for a particular destination. The tourists were surveyed on their conception about the state of environment of some specific places in the country. 

10.1 Beaches – Table 31

According to 79% of respondents, the state of environment around our beaches was good or excellent while only 5% rated it as poor.
The cleanliness of beaches was praised largely by respondents from India (94%) and Spain (92%). On the other hand, the level was rated poor by respondents from: Zimbabwe (11%), United States of America (10%), Belgium (9%), France (7%) and Italy (7%).

10.2 Public places – Table 32

As regards public places, a lot need to be done in terms of environment as only 50% of the tourists interviewed rated its level as being good or excellent. About 18% of them viewed the level of environment as poor.

The tourists qualifying environment of public places as good or excellent were mainly from India (85%), Japan (84%) and Kenya (78%). In contrast, the state of environment in public places was regarded as poor mainly by tourists from Zimbabwe (29%), Australia (26%), France (23%) and Switzerland (22%).

10.3 Tourist sites – Table 33

The nature of environment of the tourist sites was well appreciated by tourists since 77% of them qualified it as good or excellent against 4%who rated it as poor. 

Those expressing full satisfaction in respect of the state of environment of tourist sites were from India (95%), Kenya (89%), Malagasy Republic (83%), Singapore (82%), Republic of South Africa (82%) and United Kingdom (81%). On the other hand, tourists from Zimbabwe (12%), Belgium (6%) and Sweden (6%) found the state of environment unpleasant.

10.4 The country in general – Table 34

When asked to evaluate the state of environment of the country as a whole, 57% of tourists rated it as good or excellent, 29% were just satisfied while 14% expressed concern.
Tourists from India (91%) and Japan (88%) were satisfied with the environment of the country in general compared to those from France (20%), Australia (19%), Sweden (17%) and Belgium (17%) who rated it as poor.


                                                                                    11. RATING OF PRICE OF SERVICES 

11.1 Price of accommodation – Table 35

Around 71% of the tourists interviewed found the price of accommodation reasonable, 26% evaluated it expensive and 3% rated it as low.
The respondents who found the price of accommodation expensive were mainly from: Spain (48%), Belgium (41%), Switzerland (38%) and India (38%). 

11.2 Price of food – Table 36

On average 65% of the respondents rated the price of food as reasonable compared to 31% finding it expensive and some 4% rated it as low. Countrywise, tourists from Spain(64%), Republic of South Africa (48%), India (44%), Switzerland (44%) and Belgium (42%) were among those finding price of food expensive.

11.3 Price of drinks – Table 37

Nearly 44% of the tourists interviewed underlined the high price charged for drinks while 53% of them finding it reasonable.

The high price charged for drinks was pointed out mainly by tourists from: Spain (81%), Republic of South Africa (71%), United kingdom (56%),Switzerland (56%), Germany (53%), Belgium (53%) and Zimbabwe (51%). 

11.4 Price of local transport –Table 38

The price of the local transport was viewed as reasonable by 66% of the tourists interviewed against 17% finding it expensive and another 17% of them qualifying the rate practised as low.

By country of residence, tourists who designated the transport rates as expensive were mainly from India (48%) and Hong Kong (44%).


                                                                 12. COMPETITIVENESS WITH OTHER ISLAND DESTINATIONS

Outgoing tourists were asked whether they have ever visited any other island and to compare Mauritius with these destinations in respect of price levels, hospitality of the people and quality of the tourism product. 

12.1 Other islands visited

Of the total 13,559 tourists interviewed, 7,663 (or 57%) had ever visited another island besides Mauritius. The majority of these tourists (27%) had been to Reunion Island, followed by 822 (11%) who had visited Seychelles. The other major islands visited were: Carribean (6%), Guadeloupe (6%), Bali (5%), Malagasy Republic (5%) and Maldives (5%). 

12.2 Price levels – Table 39

Nearly 44% of the respondents found the prices charged in Mauritius to be lower than those they experienced in the other islands they visited, while 33% claimed that prices in Mauritius were higher and 22% did not notice any difference in price levels.

According to these tourists, our prices were lower than those practised in Seychelles (71%), Reunion Island (63%), Singapore (56%), Guadeloupe (49%), Martinique (47%) and Bahamas (43%).
On the other hand our prices were higher compared to the following countries: Malagasy Republic (71%), Malaysia (63%), Phuket (59%), Bali (53%) and Comoros (40%).

12.3 Hospitality – Table 40

Compared to other islands visited, the sense of hospitality was stronger (63%) in Mauritius or at the same level (33%).

With respect to our island competitors of the region, Mauritians had been reported as being more hospitable than the people of Malagasy Republic, Reunion Island and Seychelles by 68%, 64% and 53% of tourists who had visited these countries.


12.4 Quality of the tourism product – Table 41

The overall quality of the Mauritian tourism product was perceived to be higher than that of the other island destinations by 55% of respondents against 38% who rated our product to be of the same standard.

More than 75% of tourists found the Mauritian tourism product to be better than that proposed by Malagasy Republic and Comoros. Compared to Seychelles and Reunion Island, our product was rated higher by 52% and 48% respectively; and at the same level by 40% and 46% respectively.

The Mauritian tourism product was evaluated lower by the majority of respondents only with respect to Singapore (44%). 

                                                                                 13. EXPECTATION EVALUATION – Table 42 

The majority (76%) of tourists interviewed found their stay in Mauritius as they expected compared to 19% finding it beyond their expectation. Some 5% of the respondents found it below their expectation.

The respondents who qualified their visit as beyond the initial expectation, were largely from: Zimbabwe (30%), Japan (28%), USA (26%) and United Kingdom (26%). In contrast, those finding it below expectation were mainly from: Hong Kong (16%), Italy (9%) and France (7%).

                                                                                                     14. SIGHTSEEING 

Out of the 13,559 tourists interviewed, 11,186 (82%) of them visited at least one place of interest during their stay in Mauritius. The most popular site remained the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden that was visited by nearly 46% of the tourists. Ile aux Cerfs, Port-Louis Centre and Chamarel were among the top sites visited with percentages oscillating between 32% to 38%.

The beaches that attracted more tourists were those found in the northern part of our island. As regards the towns, Port-Louis and Curepipe were the most visited with percentages of the order 36% and 16% respectively. 

Other major tourism sites were:
Grand Bassin Lake
Caudan Waterfront
Port-Louis market
Black River Gorges
Trou aux Cerfs
Casela Bird Park 

Among the places of interest visited, the respondents found Ile aux Cerfs and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden to be most appealing.

                                                                            15. SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE OUR DESTINATION

At the end of the interview the respondents were asked to make suggestions to upgrade our tourism product. There were 6,815 respondents who made some 9,137 recommendations. The main areas of concern were the improvement of the infrastructure, environment protection and hotel services. 

15.1 Transport and communication

Some 2,457 (27%) respondents made recommendations for improvement of transport and communication. Most of the suggestions highlighted the need to improve the road facilities and security. Many complaints were received concerning the high cost of transport services. 

Improve road conditions (n=719)
More sign posts are required all over the island (n=429)
Drivers should be more careful on the roads (n=372)
Taxi fares expensive (n=167)
Improvement of public transport in general (n=145) 


15.2 Environment

A total of 2,592 suggestions concerning environment in Mauritius were recorded. Most of the respondents expressed their feelings for a general need to fight pollution. Hereunder are some specific recommendations. 

The country should be kept cleaner (n=545)
Emission of pollution from vehicles (n=367)
Preservation of the natural environment (n=319)
Stop polluting the environment (n=317)
Do not modernise too much / remain as you are (n=242)
Towns and villages should be kept cleaner (n=214)
Shortage of disposal bins in public places (n=139)
Port-Louis should be kept cleaner (n=105)

15.3 The airport

About 8% of the responses pinpointed the services of the airport which are constantly under pressure during peak hours of the day. Main suggestions were: 

Improve immigration services (n=225)
Improve all the airport services (n=156)

15.4 Hotels  

Some 1,335 recommendations were observed on the need to enhance the level of services in certain hotels. The major complaints were: 

Prices of drinks generally charged too high (n=436)
Prices of food too high (n=235)
Prices of accommodation generally charged too high (n=148)
Hotel services in general need to be improved (n=116) 

15.5 Beaches /tourist sites

Some 808 suggestions were recorded on the improvement of beaches and tourist sites.  

Beaches to be kept cleaner (n=290)
Limit the construction of hotels on beaches (n=113)
Too many hawkers on the beaches (n=44)

15.6 Other

Too many stray dogs (n=145)
Improve security in the country (n=128)
More road pavements at Grand Bay (n=52)