The announcement by South African airline FlySafair that it will be introducing a Johannesburg to Mauritius route once the two countries’ borders reopen has been welcomed by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).
FlySafair has been awarded the rights to operate a twice-weekly service between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius and marks the first regional route for the local carrier.
“This is indeed good news for both the Mauritius and South African tourism industries and will provide many exciting opportunities and collaborations going forward. While the travel ban is still in place, South Africa remains one of our top five source markets for inbound tourism and a priority due partly to its proximity to the island,” says Arvind Bundhun, Director of the MTPA.
With Mauritius announcing the commencement of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme last week, and the first batch of vaccines arriving in South Africa this week, the MTPA is hopeful that travel between the two countries could be reignited within the next few months. 50,000 front-liners are being considered for the vaccination campaign in Mauritius and, with one of the government’s objectives being to restart the tourism sector in the safest conditions possible, 50% percent of these work in the tourism sector.
While the global pandemic put paid to 2020 arrival figures, South Africans accounted for 181 556 of the 1,38-million tourist arrivals in 2019, an 8.6% share.