A workshop on the tourism sector of Rodrigues aimed at enhancing the visibility of the island opened this morning at Le Labourdonnais Hotel in Port Louis in the presence of the Chief Commissioner, Mr Serge Clair, and the Managing Director of the Rodrigues Tourism Office, Mrs Pierette Prosper.

In his address, Mr Serge Clair recalled that the Tournée Rodriguaise 2018 aims at increasing the visibility of Rodrigues as a tourist destination, promote the island as a destination for senior citizens, as well as encourage tourist operators to promote the special holiday package from Mauritius to Rodrigues. The campaign, he underlined, will showcase the assets and unique characteristics of Rodrigues which include its authenticity, rich culture, gastronomy and welcoming population.

Speaking about the slight decrease in tourist arrivals from Mauritius to Rodrigues during the first seven months of 2018, the Chief Commissioner emphasised that it is imperative to brainstorm and identify the reasons which have led to this decline of 7%.

In a bid to improve the situation and boost tourist arrivals, several measures are being implemented, he underscored. They include: increase of marketing budget of the Rodrigues Tourism Office to start a more aggressive campaign; launching of the Best Travel Agent Award; enhancing services offered in the tourism sector; organisation of competitions on the radio and television; and aggressive marketing on billboards across Mauritius to promote the Rodrigues destination.

Furthermore, Mr Serge Clair pointed out that Budget 2018-2019 makes provision for new sites and new activities such as traditional fishing in lagoons and hikes as well as the rehabilitation of popular tourist sites such as Caverne Patates and Iles aux Cocos. He added that the licence system in the tourism sector will also be reviewed and a grading system for hotels and gîtes will be introduced.

For her part, the Managing Director of the Rodrigues Tourism Office, Mrs Pierette Prosper, underlined that Mauritius is the principal tourist market for Rodrigues. Since the past five years, she pointed out, the tourist arrivals from Mauritius to Rodrigues have increased drastically from 34 666 arrivals in 2013 to 53 119 in 2017. It is therefore imperative to further enhance the visibility of the island amongst Mauritians in view of the huge potential of Mauritius, she concluded.

The workshop coincided with the launching of the Best Travel Agent Award which is targeting IATA and non-IATA travel agencies. The ticket sale period is between July to December 2018 and the travel agent which will sell the maximum number of tickets during that period will be awarded the Best Travel Agent Award. Prizes include trophies, air tickets and excursions. In January 2019, a soirée gala will also be organised in Rodrigues.

Organised in the context of the sixth edition of the Tournée Rodriguaise held from 29 August to 2 September 2018, the workshop is seeing the participation of around 50 representatives from travel agents and tour operators from Mauritius and Rodrigues. The workshop will act as a platform to promote exchange of views and ideas between all stakeholders on measures to implement in a bid to increase tourist arrivals to Rodrigues from Mauritius.

Tournée Rodriguaise 2018

The Tournée Rodriguaise will comprise a series of activities showcasing its authentic culture. They comprise road shows, cultural shows, distribution of promotional materials, authentic creole cuisine and sales exhibition of crafts and entrepreneurial products and a ‘Soiree Rodriguaise’ with traditional creole music and dance. The Road shows will be held at the municipality of Quatre Bornes, Plaisance Mall in Rose Belle, and Flacq Coeur de Ville.

The campaign, a joint collaboration of the Chief Commissioner’s Office, Commission for Tourism, the Rodrigues Tourism Office, the Commission for Industrial Development and Air Mauritius Ltd, will span from 29 August to 02 September 2018. Its objective is to promote the tourism and entrepreneurial sector of Rodrigues by showcasing and enhancing the unique assets of the island and to incite Mauritian tourists to discover the island.

Source: Government of Mauritius