Mauritius had approximately 18,000 visitors in 1970. Between 1985 and 2000, there was an increase in tourists’ arrival by approximately 340%. A big percentage of tourist arrivals are from Europe, with France supplying almost half. Moreover, Reunion Island is the most important short haul source market for Mauritius accounting for almost 13% of total tourist arrivals. Asian residents account for 6% of tourist arrivals, almost half of which came from the Indian Sub-Continent. Tourist arrivals in 2004 were almost 720,000. In 2008, 970 482 tourist were reported to Mauritius. Tourists are mainly French and British, Mauritius is considered to be an expensive tourist destination and therefore, air travel and accommodation are generally expensive. Most tourists are on package holidays and there is very little independent travel or backpacking. But still, there are tourists who come to Mauritius independently and therefore do not come on package holidays. So as to enhance up – market tourism, charter flight have been forbidden, high standards resort hotels have been built and there are high standard of cuisine and excellent service quality.
Mauritius is one of the best luxury tourism destinations worldwide. Mauritius received the World Leading Island Destination award for the third time and World’s Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012. Mauritius can be proud to have one of the highest rates of tourists return in the world. There are different types of Recreational activities in Mauritius. Water sports are easily accessible as the island is surrounded with coral reef, which provides relatively shallow and calm water. Besides, land-based leisure activities are also available, these include quad riding, mountain biking, abseiling, zip lining, horse riding, golf, tennis and trekking