[L.E] The re- launch of our tourism industry

The need to implement Halal Tourism

Since the start of the tourism industry Mauritius has been portraying itself as an attractive destination with blue sea, white sand and brilliant sun. The industry was launched with little number of tourist arrivals in the fifties and 1803 visitors had visited the island .However, tourist arrivals keep on growing and from 1975 to 1979 about 127,000 tourists visited our country. However, the influx of tourist arrivals was spectacular before the advent of Covid 19. The target was to attract two million tourists by 2025, but unfortunately this industry was hard hit throughout the world by the outbreak of Corona virus. From 1.3 million tourists in the year 2020 the curve has instantly flattened to zero level in Mauritius.

It was a time when the tourists were scared of military coup, civil war, terrorist attack, AIDS and local aggression. But the Corona virus which is spreading like a wild fire across the world happens to change the behavioristic approach of the travelers who desperately want security needs at all cost against this gruesome pandemic. All the tourist receiving countries will have to adhere strictly to the sanitary protocol just for the sake of the survival of their tourism industry.

However, it is a known fact that in the face of economic crisis the industry takes a serious downturn but it rebounds gradually to become economically active as usual. The holiday makers have a freedom of choice. As demand for travel is highly price elastic the tourist has to chalk out his travel plan gingerly; such as when to go and where to go. Consequently, travel may be for varied reasons but the prime motivation to engage in tourism is to be elsewhere and to escape temporarily the daily routine and constraints of everyday life not to mention the stress endured during the lockdown.

According to Mac In tosh, the visitors travel for physical, cultural, inter personal and self esteem motivations. On the other hand happiness and pleasure are the most important ingredients of individual life. According to Mc Douglall, “happiness intensifies all pleasure and every occasion of pleasure enriches our happiness”. Despite all the hurdles, the industry may dwindle but soon after economic recovery it is put on the track to become economically active.

What about the post Covid travelers? It is to note that demand for leisure and entertainment will remain the same while change in the behavior of the travelers will be demonstrated through cautiousness in term of hygiene. Cleanliness is primordial in this sector but a spike in the transmission of the virus will definitely force the visitors to seek complete security from the service provider. Previously it was imperative for the tourist destinations to enhance the travel experiences of the visitors in order to gain popularity. But in the post Covid era the key factors to retain are hygiene, good sanitation, cautiousness, vigilance, discipline and tidiness.

The choice for escorted tour may be on the priority list of the travelers because they will have full reliance on the guide who is supposed to provide them good security. The independent traveler should be well informed before he embarks on safari tourism, bearing in mind where to go and how to go. Places of interest must operate at less capacity in order to avoid density of visitors.

The service of Emirate and Turkish Airlines to our destination may give opportunities to explore another niche market called halal tourism. Jaffar and Scott define it as “the encouragement of tourists likely to meet the requirement of sharia law. This market segment requires place of worship, halal food, banned alcohol, gender segregation and dress code. About 130 countries have already introduced halal tourism, why not Mauritius?  

Tourism gives an impetus to socialization. People of different nationalities meet in crowded resorts and make new friends. But this perception may take a new turn in the post Covid era. The pleasure associated with travel and tours will be accompanied by fears and doubts. Nevertheless, vaccinated travelers touring in a destination with a highly vaccinated population will find themselves protected both physically and psychologically. It is the duty of our marketers to apprise the potential clients of how safe is our destination.

Cassam Tupsy

NOTE : Les points de vue exprimés dans cette rubrique ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de la rédaction.