RTTNews - Tourist arrivals into Mauritius declined 9.9% year-on-year in the first quarter to 261,494, a report by the Central Statistics Office said.

During the quarter, tourist arrivals from Europe were down 8% on an annual basis to 165,318. Among the European countries, tourist arrivals from France, the leading market for Mauritius, dropped 2.2%.

Tourist arrivals from Asia fell 20.8%, with arrivals from India, constituting the major tourist market among Asian countries, slipping 32.4% in the first quarter. Moreover, tourist arrivals from America and Oceania declined 1.8% and 29.8% respectively in this period.

In the first quarter, receipts from tourism amounted to MUR10,265 million, 14.1% lower than in the same period in 2008.

Looking ahead, the tourist arrivals for 2009 are forecast to decline 10.3% year-on-year to 835,000. Moreover, revenue from tourism is projected to fall 7.4% on annual basis to MUR38,173 million, according to the Bank of Mauritius.

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