The proposals of the Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs of Mauritius for the next Budget revolve around three main recommendations. These include strengthening the destination, improving ease of doing business and promoting non-beach components in the tourism sector.

1. Strengthening the destination

Addressing coastal protection and the impacts of beach erosion

According to the Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs of Mauritius (Ahrim), last year, the budget speech mentioned strong measures to combat beach erosion and better protect our coastline. The association reveals the list of examples of lack of convergence and the measures which are still awaited.

  • A study financed by AFD on coastal risks and which has not yet been shared with participating stakeholders.
  • A request for proposal by the Ministry of Environment for the hiring of an expert to examine beach erosion affecting hotels, an exercise which had to be repeated and whose conclusion is still pending.
  • The current Flic-en-Flac project, led by the Ministry of the Environment (an initiative which covers both the public beaches of Flic-en-Flac and Wolmar, as well as the beaches in front of hotels), envisages the charging for the public beach but not for the beaches in front of the hotels.
  • The institutional framework for the conduct of national policy regarding the management of beach erosion is still static.

The solutions proposed

  • That the authorities now take a bolder approach to measures to tackle the issue of beach erosion in the short, medium and long term
  • A new policy direction is needed in the wake of sea level rise, and should include consideration of social and economic impacts rather than simply reflecting environmental constraints.


Establish a legal framework facilitating the use of private water service providers

At any time of the year, according to Ahrim members, hotels face water shortages and have no choice but to resort to private water tankers to meet their daily needs. However, according to the association, the legal framework for private water tankers is still unclear to this day.

The solutions proposed

  • The development of a legal framework to better regulate the services provided by private water tankers, both with regard to water supply and transportation and the pricing of their services.
  • A streamlined approval process for desalination projects to ensure they are implemented in a timely manner.
  • The emergence of desalinated (drinking) water suppliers operating from larger sites, more suited to large-scale operations and located in non-tourist areas.


2. Business facilitation and recognition of the impact of Covid-19

Ahrim believes that the temporary closure of hotels for renovation should be formally recognized and a specific set of incentives should be provided. “All hotels have suffered significant financial losses with the COVID-19 pandemic and today, many establishments are postponing their renovation plans,” laments the association.

The solutions proposed

  • 50% reduction in annual rent on industrial leases when a hotel closes for renovation/reconstruction. Extension from July 1, 2023 until June 30, 2025 or 2026
  • Fees suspended (or deferred if paid) during the renovation period. This includes license fees paid to the Tourism Authority, MBC TV license fees
  • Suspension of the contribution to the training fee and fees paid to MASA
  • Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) reimbursement temporarily set at 100% during the renovation period to encourage training during the closure.
  • Specific duty free on equipment, accessories and furniture
  • Ability to claim a 150% initial depreciation allowance on capital expenditure incurred on buildings during the renovation year.


3. Promotion of non-seaside components

Promote local tourism.

According to Ahrim, although Mauritius already has strong positions in the golf and kitesurfing markets, it has yet to exploit the full potential of its rich heritage and domestic tourism offerings.

The solutions proposed

  • The creation of cultural destinations marketed in the same way as, for example, Saint-Paul Cathedral, Mont-Saint-Michel or the Louvres.
  • Characterization of villages and sites, such as Mahébourg, Le Morne, Port-Louis, Chamarel, Flic-en-Flac, Curepipe and Grand-Baie
  • Upgrading public museums to international standards.
  • Exploitation of Mauritian authenticity, through unique Sega or street food.
  • The contribution of the villages of Vieux Grand-Port and Le Morne, being selected among the best tourist villages in Mauritius. Measures are needed in collaboration with the government, the private sector, NGOs, international expert bodies to reveal the potential of these two sites.
  • Strengthened consumer protection policies, coupled with fines for abuse, with abundant communication from the authorities.
  • Well signposted and informed public transport infrastructure, including taxis with applicable routes, fares well displayed and published.
  • The application of compulsory display of prices in all points of sale.
  • Regular and energetic public advertising of lists of duly licensed operators in all areas of tourism.
  • Creating a one-stop information point for locals and visitors looking to learn more about our country's values, mission and commitment to sustainability.

In numbers (2023)

Tourist arrivals:

1.295 million (29% increase compared to 2022)

Recovery rate in terms of arrivals:

93.6% compared to 2019

Recovery rate for tourist nights: 99.4%

Hotel room occupancy rate: 74%.

Tourist arrivals in the Indian Ocean region…

The Maldives :

1,878 million (12.1% increase compared to 2022)

Sri Lanka:

1,487 million (106.6% increase compared to 2022)

Seychelles :

350,879 (increase of 5.7% compared to 2022)

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