Global Downturn Impacts Mauritius and Maldives

Friday, 19 June 2009 15:43


The luxury island destinations of Mauritius and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, both of which rely heavily on tourism from European markets, have been negatively impacted by the global downturn. According to the latest data from STR Global, both destinations experienced occupancy drops for the first four months of the year, as their main European source markets were hit by recession, falling employment and declining consumer confidence.

Mauritius and the Maldives are renowned for their upscale to luxury image, which is well-represented in their hotel offering. Whilst occupancy levels, at the 23 hotels in Mauritius and 17 hotels in the Maldives that STR tracks, declined, average room rates increased slightly when measured in local currency. Mauritius’s occupancy fell 16 percentage points to 62.5%, compared to the Maldives’ 15.1-percentage points decline to 70.5% for January through April 2009.

Average room rates grew 2.8% and 6.9% in Mauritius and Maldives, respectively. Unfortunately, the rate increases could not hold up the revenue per available room performances, which declined 18% in Mauritius and 12% in the Maldives.
Comparing the ADR results in euro terms, the currency used by the majority of visitors to both islands, a different picture emerges.

Maldives took the top spot with an increase of 26% to €704, compared to Mauritius’s 3% decrease to €184 for the first four months of this year. The currency fluctuation and weakening Euro against the Maldivian-Rufiyaas made Maldives more expensive to its European clientele. The Maldives had an ADR premium of €520 over Mauritius for year-to-April 2009 compared to the same period last year.

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