Sustainability and digitalisation, key elements for a green tourism industry, says PM

Mauritius is set to harness the potentials of the tourism industry by promoting competitiveness through sustainability and digitalisation. In addition to digitising the sector, Government envisions to integrate change and innovation for a sustainable and greener tourism industry while ensuring societal benefits to the wider community.

The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement today at the opening of an International Conference on Digitalisation and Sustainable Tourism at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments.

In his address Mr Jugnauth recalled that tourism, over time, has thrived as a key pillar of the economy contributing some 8% of the Gross Domestic Product, 10% of total employment and 8% of investment. However, with the growing uncertainties prevailing on the global tourism market, it is imperative to develop effective strategies to address factors which are negatively impacting on the sustainable growth of the industry, he said.

The Prime Minister cautioned that climate change is redefining the modes of operation, production and consumption and its effects are alarming for most tourist destinations as they are dependent of the natural environment. Referring to the temporary closing of the Maya Bay island in Thailand, he underlined the need to mitigate the influences of climate change which are hindering the development of the tourism industry.

Government is conscious of the need to make of Mauritius a clean and green destination, he said. On that score a series of initiatives is being implemented namely: setting up of a legal requirement for carrying out Environment Impact Assessment for industries and enterprises with significant impact on the environment; and adoption of eco-friendly practices such as the installation of solar system and rainwater harvesting system amongst others.

The Prime Minister also called for the public and private partnership in charting the right tourism policies based on a shared vision to address challenges and transform Mauritius into a digitalised and sustainable country.

For his part the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Gayan, expressed satisfaction that Mauritius has, over the fifty years, successfully emerged as a true model of democracy, vibrant economy as well as a remarkable tourist destination. He cited ancestral and cultural values, historical sites and monuments, and the protection of the environment as key fundamentals of a sustainable and inclusive tourism. The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is central to the country’s tourism development, he said.

He further indicated that, with the advent of technological assets such as high-speed Internet connectivity, social platforms, and mobile phones, it is becoming increasingly important for tourist operators to adapt so as to better respond to the demands of consumers. The global tourism industry is at the forefront of the digital impact and is gradually reshaping the way tourism business is done, he said.

On this note, he reiterated that the International Conference will chart new avenues for both the public and private sectors to embrace digitalisation as an asset for tourism development.

About the Conference

The Conference on the theme Digitalisation and Sustainable Tourism will provide an important platform for various stakeholders to showcase the potentials of digitalisation in the tourism sector. It is organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and the Tourism Authority.

Some 300 local and international stakeholders including Ministers, high level policy makers, academics, researches and experts are attending the Conference following which a declaration will be adopted.

Participants will have the opportunity to present case studies on several topics relating to technology transformation and tourism; redefining destination marketing strategy in the digital era; challenges to the digitalisation of the tourism sector; tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals; enhancing destination competitiveness through technology and innovation; fostering sustainable tourism development in the digital era; and future orientation of the tourism industry, amongst others.

Source: Government of Mauritius