The Republic of Mauritius receives the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism AIR MAURITIUS celebrates 50TH Years and joins the Travel.Enjoy.Respect Campaign

13 Oct 17

On 30 July, Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, paid an official visit to the Republic of Mauritius. Mr. Rifai´s visit coincided with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Air Mauritius, which on the occasion joined the TRAVEL.ENJOY.RESPECT campaign. The latter is a UNWTO consumer-oriented campaign aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Mr. Rifai was welcomed by Hon. A. K. Gayan, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Mauritius, to discuss the importance of tourism as a driver of economic growth and development. Mr. Rifai also met with several high government officials including H.E. Mrs. A. Gurib-Fakim, GCSK, CSK, President of the Republic of Mauritius to discuss Mauritius´s tourism sector. The President discussed at length with the Secretary-General the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation and her vision of turning Rodrigues[1] into an eco-tourism island. The visit was concluded with the presentation of the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism by Mr. Rifai to the H.E. the President, who acknowledged the relevance of travel and tourism on national level.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Air Mauritius organized a Seminar on ‘Aviation and Sustainable Tourism’, bringing together leaders of the industry with Mr. Somas Appavou, CEO of Air Mauritius, the Chairman of the airline, Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo and Mr. Rifai to discuss the challenges small island state airlines are currently faced with. 

During his four-day visit, Mr. Rifai met with Hon. Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of the Republic of Seychelles and Mr. P. Viroleau, CEO of the Vanilla Islands Organization, who briefed him on the operations that Turkish Airlines has recently set up in the Indian Ocean region working closely with some of the Vanilla Islands Member States.


[1] Rodrigues Island is a small volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mauritius, of which it is a territory.