Tourism through a crisis but developers continue to submit reports to build new hotels. And the trend is to provide facilities for innovative concepts such as the boutique hotel.
This is a situation that intrigues. While the Mauritian tourism sector through what is perhaps the worst crisis of its existence, developers continue to submit reports to Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of new hotels. Thus, in 2012, the Ministry of the Environment has awarded no fewer than 10 licenses for EIA "hotel coastal and related work." But the picture is more nuanced than this figure suggests.
In the end, only four of these permits were for the construction of new hotels. More interestingly, these four projects have distinct qualities, qualities that set them apart from conventional hotels beach. Since the profile of projects is changing, what does that mean for the future of the industry as a whole?
Start by looking at these closely. The first is a boutique hotel with 50 rooms in Belle Mare. This kind of property is out of the big hotel chains with a unique style based on a concept and a personality of its own. The second Ayurvedic sanctuary also in the east, the third, another BOUTIQUEHOTEL which include 85 rooms, is part of the huge IRS AzuriVillage and fourth hotel is the Holiday Inn is expected to serve the new terminal of the project to Plaisance International Airport.
By their size, location or their theme, these projects mark a fairly clear break with the tradition of traditional beach hotels, hotels with more than a hundred rooms on the beach. But the fact that all these new projects stand one way or another, is it by chance or necessity?
For Sen Ramsamy of Tourism Business Intelligence, this shift represents a "natural evolution", because in the current environment investors are somewhat forced to exploit niches increasingly specialized. But this apparent willingness to stand not in itself solve the fundamental problems facing the sector.
Instead, as these newcomers will only aggravate the current overcapacity of hotel facilities. At the General Meeting held in June AHRIM its president François Eynaud had quantified this mismatch: "the number of hotel rooms and para-hotels will increase by 6% in 2013 to more than 18 000 rooms, besides the sector informal. The national hotel occupancy will probably fall this year to 60%, whereas it was 76% in 2007 " .
Sen Ramsamy estimates, the country would need at least 1.3 million tourists annually to ensure an average occupancy rate of about 75% of existing hotel rooms. And inevitably, come and add even just a few dozen more rooms will only worsen the situation.
He draws a parallel between the current situation and that which prevailed in 1991 when the government imposed a freeze on the construction of new hotels. This two-year suspension was allowed to tour operators "breathe" and resulted, somewhat belatedly, in 1996 to the creation of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority to replace Mauritius Government Tourist Office exceeded.
Sen Ramsamy believes that such goal would be useful to more than one title in the current context. This would include the stakeholders to focus entirely on the gaps in air access and marketing. Further upstream, he advocates the creation of a Business Transformation Plan for an industry that is still in his "more a tourist hotel."
"Instead of making predictions based on past statistics, it should set goals for our various markets and then the means to achieve them," he said. In order to consolidate traditional markets and "micro-target" emerging markets.
"Apart from the hotels, what will bring tourists to Mauritius? What is the most that we offer as a destination? , " asks Le express interlocutor. And that is precisely the problem. New projects might try to be different, they are in the end ... hotels.