Just a four-hour flight from South Africa and with close economic, business and often family ties, Mauritian travellers are regulars on our shores. Post-Covid travel relations look promising thanks to a slew of new connections linking the country with the Indian Ocean Island. In November 2022, South African Airways and FlySafair resumed flights after a two-year hiatus, and Air Mauritius relaunched its service to Cape Town. So what can we do to attract more of our island cousins to the shores of SA?
Choice of destinations for travellers
Mauritius’ population is diverse, and locals are drawn to nearby Réunion Island (which has close cultural ties to Europe), and France and India. South Africa and Dubai are popular destinations for business, educational, medical and shopping trips, says Reshmee Chamroo, Director Global Accounts at Global Cynergies, LLC. India is a hotspot for shopping and weddings, but travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimages is also experiencing a resurgence. In short, Chamroo says, international travel is on: “After a few years of being tied to their home country, Mauritians are ready to discover new things.”
Where travellers find inspiration
When it comes to finding travel inspiration, Mauritian travellers turn to various sources, including magazines, social media platforms, newspapers and even TV, says Chamroo. But perhaps the most important source of inspiration is word of mouth – hearing about amazing places from friends and family members who have already been there.
Mauritian travellers typically book seven-day stays, depending on the terms of the promotional packages or flights offered. Chamroo says clients vary from solo travellers to families to groups. “It’s a real mix,” she says. So what do Mauritian travellers want in South Africa? “Adventure, shopping, relaxation and reconnecting with family and friends,” Chamroo says.
Tips to attract Mauritian travellers
Many factors influence a Mauritian client’s decision when choosing a destination. Some are drawn to places they have seen advertised, while others prefer places recommended by people they know. Others opt for the most convenient or affordable option, Chamroo says.
“An important consideration when choosing a destination is whether it is easy to get to. Direct flights are a must for some people, while others are willing to make a few stops along the way. Price is also an important factor,” she says, noting the opportunities for travel managers to accommodate their travel requests.