Close this search box.

Expert’s take on vacation destinations!

An intervention from our Director and Head of Business Development at Shamal Travels Ltd, Ajmal Tincowree in the local news given an expert’s take on vacation destinations!

For Ajmal Tincowree, Mauritians are slowly but surely getting the confidence again to travel abroad. “As Mauritians, we are very disconnected from the rest of the world and our knowledge of what’s happening around the world is only limited to what we see in the news. What we have noted is that our outbound traffic, which is Mauritians travelling abroad, has been significantly slower compared to the inbound traffic that is tourists travelling to Mauritius.” He believes that the main reason for this is fear and loss of confidence in air travel. “The start was slow since October 2021 but over the past four to five months we have seen a tremendous increase in our outbound traffic and we are experiencing the impact now. This is due to the confidence that has been given by people who have travelled to Mauritius especially by Mauritians living abroad who have travelled to the island to visit their families. This has given confidence to the Mauritian market to travel abroad again. We can now see the enthusiasm, how people are responding to the packages offered and the numbers are going up fast.” Moreover, according to Umarfarooq Omarjee, Mauritians are eager to travel again for various reasons. “Mauritius had enforced severe measures regarding travelling because of the pandemic such as with the closing of the borders and the quarantine. So, Mauritians could not travel for a long period but now many are enthusiastic to travel to visit their family or their children abroad as well as travel for leisure. Business passengers have also decided to travel again and we have noted an increasing demand on this side. We must, however, underline that Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, China and even Australia still have their borders closed with Mauritius. We hope that borders with Asia will reopen in the coming months and that we will see a growing number of Mauritian passengers travelling to these Asian countries.”


In terms of vacation destinations, our stakeholders explain that Mauritians mostly choose Europe as their holiday destination. Samanta Nagadoo states that Mauritian travellers are more inclined towards European and Middle-Eastern countries. “Countries like UK, France, Turkey, Greece and Dubai are among the most sought destinations. All travel restrictions in these countries have been relaxed allowing tourism to flourish again. Moreover, there is a certain stability in the flight schedules and airfare to these countries. On the other hand, we also have the Rodrigues market. Mauritians are always ready to travel to Rodrigues.” On her side, Benjamine Li declares that Mauritians are fond of cruises. “Some have started to travel to Europe to join cruises and at the same time visit relatives in Europe. As Mauritians did not travel for two years so they missed the shopping. Turkey and Dubai are for the moment their vacation destinations. But when it comes to family visits Canada and Australia are the two main countries Mauritians are travelling to.” Ajmal Tincowree also states that Europe, South Africa and Rodrigues remain the favourite destinations for the local people. “Europe remains the favourite because of smaller number of restrictions, more professionalism and also because most people have families and relatives living in Europe, so they feel more confident to travel there. It is closely followed by South Africa. We also now see a trend towards Rodrigues. Mauritians are also very fond of destinations like Turkey and Dubai because they have few restrictions as well. Travelling there is very convenient and less stressful.” Additionally, Umarfarooq Omarjee utters that there are many depart for Canada, USA and Australia as Mauritians are going for family visits. “But we expect things to change when borders will be opened with the Asian countries. There will be perhaps a shift in travel destinations.”

Higher airfares

Given that we are in the post-pandemic period; our interviewees all affirm that airfares are no longer cheap. “Post-pandemic air- fares have gone up and not by a negligible amount. For example, a ticket to Malaysia was around Rs 28,000 but now it revolves around Rs 40,000. Similarly, there have been price hikes in tickets to Reunion Island, France, the UK and even Turkey,” explains Samanta Nagadoo.

Besides, she underlines that the fact that there are no Air Mauritius flights to South East Asia is causing a total disruption in airfares. “Earlier Mauritians could benefit from direct flights to Singapore and Malaysia at competitive prices below Rs 30,000. Today, the Mauritian market has to rely only on other airlines for these destinations and at a much higher tariff. Even for India, Air Mauritius is flying only to one city, Mumbai. So, the average ticket price to other cities is much more expensive compared to pre-covid,” she utters. Benjamine Li states with only a few countries opened including the Far East which has recently opened and not many airlines operating in all countries, except Emirates, so there is no competition. “MK flies only to India and France/London, and Reunion and Rodrigues Island. Thus, air tickets have considerably increased compared to the pre-Covid period. Another reason behind the high airfares is because the fuel price has also increased. Some airlines do their promotions but flights are always full. People over the world have the desire to travel, I think because they have not travelled for over two years and they need to fly,” she explains. The cheapest air ticket, highlights Benjamine Li is the flight Melbourne. “The cheapest Air Ticket to Melbourne by Emirates cost around Rs 68,000 return fare but you never get this fare as the flight is always full. People pay over Rs 100 000 to go to Australia, as no other airlines go to Australia except Emirates.” Ajmal Tincowree affirms air tickets are 35% more expensive in the post-pandemic period. “It is also a question of supply and demand as well. Due to the almost inexistent demand in the past two years, supply was decreased. There was no airline and no resources were available when the rebound came. And when rebound came we had significant demand but very little supply. So, the prices have also gone up due to the economic forces. But we are confident that in the next couple of months, with the intense competition between airlines, travel agencies, tour operators and hotels among others, the prices will stabilise. Nevertheless, the air ticket prices will not necessarily be the same as in 2019 as prices were very low.”

On his side, Umarfarooq Omarjee also avers that for some period, air ticket prices were stabilised but with the war between Ukraine and Russia and the situation in Europe including the increase in fuel, air ticket prices have gone up by 10% to 15%. “It varies in terms of destination and the hours of flight. Earlier a person books his/ her ticket he/she will benefit from the best tariffs. But we are positive that the situation will get better by the end of the year as the demand will hopefully continue on the increasing trend and that we will get back 100% to normal.”