Mauritius Expects Tourism Growth This Year

According to Reuters, Mauritius sees tourist arrivals reaching 1 million in 2010 and is banking on new port infrastructure and a resurgence in Italian visitors to the Indian Ocean island, its tourism promotion agency said on Monday.

The target is slightly higher than that of the Central Statistics Office, which last week projected a five percent jump in arrivals to about 915,000 in 2010 and earnings to rise to around 40 billion rupees from 35.6 billion in 2009.

"(The) 2010 target is to reach 1 million ... international arrivals in Mauritius and it is at the same time a challenge we are ready to deal with," Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said in a statement on Monday, citing Tourism Minister Xavier Duval. The country will reportedly target a 10 percent growth on the Italian market in 2010 after a 14.6 percent decline in arrivals last year.

Duval said that the opening of a new $1.36 billion passenger terminal at the Port Louis harbour earlier in the month was expected to boost arrivals of cruise ships, as it would be the only cruise hub in Indian Ocean.