Mauritius. According to
CountryAAH, tourism, one of Mauritius's main sources of income,
declined at the beginning of the year due to outbreaks of
the so-called chikungunya virus. The mosquito-borne virus
was transmitted from island to island in the Indian Ocean.
In April, some 250,000 people in the region had been
infected, of which at least 6,000 were in Mauritius The virus
causes high fever, dehydration and severe pain, but is
slowly passing on by itself and is only life threatening for
children and the elderly. The biggest concern in Mauritius was not
the virus itself, but the risk of a sharp decline in
tourism. However, the health authorities claimed very soon
that the number of people with illness had begun to decline.
In June, it turned out that, after all, the number of
tourists visiting the country had increased by 6% in the
first quarter of 2006 compared to the same period the year
before. However, the tourist flow from France, where most
tourists usually come from, decreased slightly.
Before the virus broke out, Prime Minister Navin
Ramgoolam had claimed that Mauritius has the capacity to receive
over two million tourists a year, almost three times as many
who visited the country in 2005. By the early 2000s, the
tourism sector had stagnated, but in 2005 it began to grow
again. and after the shaky start of 2006, the authorities
believed in a continued increase this year. In addition to
controlling and preventing the spread of infectious
diseases, the government promised investments in
infrastructure, increased security for tourists and
environmental conservation, as well as developing ecotourism
and health and cultural tourism.