The first flight of China Southern Airlines is expected in Mauritius on June 28, the Office of Mauritian tourism said on Monday in Port Louis.
A meeting was held in May in Mauritius between the Minister of Tourism and Recreation, Michael Sik Yuen, the Deputy Chairman of China National Tourism Administration Wang Zhifa, representatives of China Southern Airlines and other stakeholders of the tourism industry.
During the meeting, China Southern Airlines announced its intention to serve Mauritius at the end of June 2014 and will lead to more Chinese travelers to the island nation.
The application submitted to the Mauritian government was approved at the Council of Ministers held on Friday. China Southern Airlines becomes the first international airline which serves Mauritius and China. Air Mauritius has eight flights per week to China and plans to add another direct flight to Beijing next month.
With the implementation of the diversification strategy, the number of tourists from China has already increased dramatically over the last three years.
According to the Mauritius Tourism authority, 15,133 mainland Chinese visitors came to Mauritius in 2011. In 2012 they went up to 20,885, an increase of 38%. Last year, the arrival of 41,913 mainland Chinese tourists were recorded with an increase of 100.7%.
The office said that this year’s growth target of Mauritius in the Chinese market is to double arrivals 2013, to reach 80,000.