If the western region remains the preferred destination for tourists, south of the island is experiencing a growing interest. The wild and the region south of the volcano (photo) could also be an important link to attract new audiences. There remains the thorny problem of lack of hotel facilities.
Saint-Gilles area tourists. The image is ingrained in the minds of Reunion. It is all the more that different studies confirm that the west of the island remains the most attractive region for tourism. The fact remains that in recent years, another region of the island is growing rapidly. With the development of new forms of tourism, including eco-tourism and adventure tourism (trekking in particular), the southern region begins to pull out of the game
"There is some years a sharp rise in tourism in the shelters," confirms Olivier Nery, head of communications at the Tourist Office intercommunal South (TOI). The various tourist offices in the South zone and have approved as many as 123,784 people in 2010. Marked a jump of 20% in 2 years. An improvement is expected to continue in 2011 as employees of the tourist offices have already recorded 48,614 visitors in the first half of 2011 against 45 837 people in the first half of 2010. "The best is yet to come, and we can already count on a target of 150,000 tourists received for the year 2011," looks forward Nery Olivier.
So why such an increase? The side of the ITO, it evokes a better promotion of the area. "The launch in 2010 our website has brought greater visibility to the region. The site also shows an attendance of 5,000 visitors per month, which is very encouraging when considering the youth of the portal "said Nery Olivier. And the creation of the Facebook page has only reinforced this visibility."
For the Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) as soaring South is just beginning. "The area west tourism is the engine of the Meeting. But we must look for growth opportunities. And the micro-southern region is certainly the most promising candidate," says Pascal Viroleau, the director of the IRT. "A site like the volcano for example, is an asset to the meeting.'s Landscapes are cast something unique and you have to take advantage," he adds.
But for the Southern locomotive reaches its cruising speed, we must also remove some brakes. The most important is still the lack of alternative accommodation. To fill these gaps, the structure of tourism promotion has already initiated several partnerships with various municipalities. The municipalities of St. Joseph or St. Philip have such signed agreements to that effect. Broadly, the agreement aims to engineering teams of the IRT (planners, economists or management specialists) serving municipalities and make them work together to find the best solutions to bring mass tourists. "We take care of the steps and the thinking upstream. The contacts with big investors or structures such as the Economic Development (ED) are also up to us , "said Pascal Viroleau. And results should soon bear fruit, as many consultations will take place in the coming months to define the best hotel projects to be implemented in the South.
But do not increase the overall infrastructure without reflection. "We must at all costs avoid destabilizing the market," insists the director of the IRT. Faced with the many projects currently in the pipeline, the real difficulty will be to ensure that each hotel can find its place and that, wherever possible, offer best responds to the request.
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