Mauritius is capitalising on the Brexit fallout with competitive rates as most of the hotels contracts are paid for in sterling.
Air Mauritius has announced a new direct flight from Heathrow, adding to the three flights a week it already operates, having seen a 15% rise in bookings.
UK visitor numbers in Mauritius, where the official language is English and people drive on the left hand side of the road, are up nearly 10% on the 130,000 that went in 2015.
The UK accounts for nearly 15% of their 400,000 annual tourists.
“Mauritius has benefited from contracting in sterling,” said sales and marketing director Rhys Powell. “It makes us more competitive. You still have the same value whereas other currencies are more expensive than before.”
Chairman Arnaud Martin added: “We haven’t had the issues others have had with the UK market, and remain a lot more competitive. And [hotel] rates are locked in until December 2017.”
Allan Owen, UK and Ireland sales manager of Ai Mauritius, said: “In terms of what we are getting on the ground in Mauritius, it adds value.
“It’s not as volatile as countries buying in Euros or Dollars. That ticks a massive box for tour operators.”
The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is bidding to increase its presence in the UK travel trade, and plans a fam trip next year on which agents can learn kite surfing.
The country is encouraging visitors to ‘look beyond the beach’. As well as kite surfing, also offers nine 18-hole golf courses, an Africa-themed theme park, trekking, rum tasting and sugar cane and tea plantation tours and hosts two ATP tennis tournaments.
Food is also a big offering in the country, which Arnaud Martin described as a “melting pot, like London” – combining French, Indian, African, Chinese and British cuisines.
Return prices on board the direct Air Mauritius flights start from £760 and the airline intends on adding a fifth flight for 2018-19.
It also hopes to introduce four new A350 aircraft in the next three years as it aims to continue its growth.
The new flight will run Wednesday, adding to the airline’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday connections from London to the island nation.
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