(eTN) – It was learned over the weekend that the Mauritius government intends to divest from some tourism-related interest in order to bring in cash for other purposes. Divestments will include offloading interests in casinos, the Belle Mare Tourist Village, the Lake Point Complex, and the Port Louis Waterfront developments.
It could not be ascertained when the divestiture will take place and if competitive international bidding will be used to find a suitable buyer for these properties, nor when the exercise is going to unfold in earnest, other than the political commitment now made. Valuations have been ordered, it is understood, to establish the approximate value of the government-held assets.
Mauritius, one of the Indian Ocean “vanilla islands marketing group,” enjoys high demand for holidays from overseas tourists, and the sector makes up a key part of the national economy, besides sugar production, trading, off-shore banking, and of late, high-tech manufacturing.
The island’s national airline, Air Mauritius, is flying to key African and international destinations and questions remain open, which way the flag carrier is heading, considering the sharp downsizing of neighboring Air Seychelles. Owned largely by the government of Mauritius, the national airline has been the focus of speculation over a strategic partnership with a foreign airline to ensure its long term survival, but until now has government protection ensured that losses incurred are absorbed by the shareholders.
Only recently was the main international airport voted as Africa’s best in an international survey.