News highlights of the week: SSR Airport named best in Africa

Expat news
Published on 2023-09-08 at 07:45 by Lila Chaleon*
This week in Mauritius, the SSR International Airport was named the best airport in Africa, the Quarantine Act extension, and new tourism data were released.

SSR Airport named best in Africa

On Wednesday, September 6th, during a special ceremony organized by the Airports Council International (ACI) in Incheon, South Korea, the SSR International Airport was awarded the prestigious title of the best airport in Africa in the category serving 2 to 5 million passengers. This recognition was granted as part of an international airport symposium focused on exploring new strategies and adopting best practices to enhance passenger service and address future challenges.

COVID-19: New measures implemented

The Quarantine Act has been extended until October 31st. A new measure has been introduced regarding COVID-19: individuals who test positive will no longer be required to isolate for a fixed seven-day period. The duration of this period will now be determined by a registered medical practitioner. Additionally, starting from September 4th, only employees in four specific sectors will be required to be vaccinated to access their workplace, in accordance with the Quarantine (COVID-19 Restrictions) Regulations 2022.

The vaccination requirement remains in effect for employees in educational or training institutions, as well as those in healthcare facilities and residential care homes. It also applies to workers in residential care institutions for children who are victims of violence, abuse, and neglect, as well as those in shelters for women experiencing domestic violence and childcare service facilities.

Record tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023

Mauritius' tourism industry continues to thrive. According to the latest government data, the country has experienced a significant resurgence in tourism during the first half of 2023, with a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals. The figures reveal an impressive rise in the total number of arrivals, increasing from 493,453 to 813,790 compared to the same period in 2022. Cruise tourism has also bounced back with 14 ships and 21,986 cruise passengers.

The report also unveils the demographics of tourists visiting Mauritius, with a significant proportion of travelers over the age of 60 (notably, 16.7%). However, this tourism rebound has not had a significant impact on employment in the sector, with data showing a slight decrease in employment between March 2021 and March 2022. On the other hand, the accommodation sector has seen a notable improvement in average room and bed occupancy rates in all types of hotels, reaching 73%. This reflects an increased demand for accommodation establishments in Mauritius, marking a 22% increase compared to 2022, when the rate was 51%.