A two-year hold on new hotel development in Mauritius will give the island’s existing properties “time to breathe”, according to its tourism authority.

Since new tourism minister and deputy prime minister Charles Gaetan Xavier Luc Duval came into the post at the beginning of the year, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) has instigated a two-year moratorium on new hotel openings in a bid to restore the balance between supply and demand on the island.

Speaking at World Travel Market, tourism promotion officer Zeenat Gangee said: “We have had a new minister since the start of the year so for the past 10 months, we have been working on a very customer-centric strategy to enhance the experiential side of tourism to our country.

“It’s important for visitors to have a sense of place when they come to Mauritius, and we also have a lot of loyalty from repeat visitors, so we want to have something to get them to come back again. We want the existing hotels to have time to breathe and refurbish to become more Mauritian.”

Refurbishments include the takeover of well-known resort Le Touessrok (pictured) by international brand Shangri-La, due to reopen under its new ownership later this month, and the development of a new category of luxury villa, The Sanctuary Collection, at the Four Seasons Resort.

The MTPA is also strengthening the island’s events calendar with festivals focusing on food, Creole culture, and golf, including the largest sporting event ever organised in Mauritius with the Tri-Sanctioned Professional Golf Tournament taking place at the Ernie Els-designed Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita in May 2016.