Mauritius tourist arrivals down in Q1 - CNBC Africa

Mauritius tourist arrivals down in Q1

Southern Africa

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Resort in Mauritius. PHOTO: Getty Images

Tourism is a key economic driver and source of foreign exchange for the palm-fringed Indian Ocean island. The number of tourists fell to 263,716.

(WATCH VIDEO: Mauritius tourism on the downside)

Arrivals from Europe, which provides two-thirds of the total, fell 4.3 per cent to 151,861.

Visitors from France declined by 4 per cent, from the United Kingdom by 4.9 per cent and from Italy by 26.6 per cent.

New markets in the East helped make up for some of the decline. Visitors from China increased 93.4 per cent to 18,034.

Mauritius is a popular holiday destination, famed for its azure waters, white beaches and luxury spas. But the European financial crisis has cut into tourism and the government is looking to develop new Asian markets.

(READ MORE: Mauritius looking to Asian markets to drive growth in tourism)

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