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29.1 Historical background

In the late seventies, the CSO set up a Unit at the Mauritius Government Tourist Office (MGTO) to produce relevant indicators to assist in monitoring the industry and in formulating policy. When the MGTO became a parastatal body under the name of Mauritius Tourism Development Authority in 1996, the Statistics Unit was transferred to the Ministry of Tourism.

Before the creation of that unit, tourism statistics were compiled by the Demography Unit of the CSO as part of statistics on international travel.

29.2 Activities

The main task of the Unit is to process information gathered from embarkation and disembarkation cards filled in by all incoming and outgoing passengers. The staff is particularly engaged in the following activities:

  • Tabulating tourist arrivals by country of residence, nationality, purpose of visit, age, sex and length of stay.
  • Calculation of room and bed occupancy rates.
  • Estimation of tourist nights.
  • Short term projections of tourist arrivals.
  • Tabulating departure of Mauritian residents by country visited.
  • Conducting and processing the biennial "Survey of Outgoing Tourists".
  • Calculating value added of the “Hotels and Restaurants Sector” at current and constant prices.
  • Providing short term forecast of value added of “Hotels and Restaurants Sector”.

29.3 Sources of data

The main source of data for the compilation of passenger traffic statistics is the Passport and Immigration Office which maintains a database of all passengers entering and leaving the country. The data are extracted from the embarkation/disembarkation cards filled in by all passengers. At the end of every month, passenger traffic for that particular month is downloaded on diskette from the computer system and supplied to the Statistics Unit.

Hotels provide data on accommodation capacity (rooms and beds), and occupancy rates on a monthly basis.

A survey of Outgoing Tourists is conducted every two years since 1984.


29.4 Scope and coverage

Prior to 1994, data on passenger traffic were compiled from a 10% sample of embarkation and disembarkation cards. As from January 1994, they are based on movements of all passengers, including those of cruise ships.

Tourism statistics cover all non-residents staying for more than 24 hours but less than a year, and not involved in any gainful occupation during their stay. However, data on excursionists, that is those who stay less than 24 hours in the country, are compiled and published separately.

The Survey of Outgoing Tourists covers a representative sample of tourists at the time of their departure. The objective of this survey is to obtain qualitative and quantitative information on tourists to supplement the recurrent statistics.

29.5 Data processing and analysis

Monthly tourism statistics are processed at the Unit on microcomputers using IMPS software. The processing involves several steps, namely editing, imputation of missing values and recoding.

The survey of outgoing tourists is also processed in-house with the support of the CISD, using IMPS.

29.6 Topics and data items

(a) Embarkation/disembarkation cards

The following information is gathered from the embarkation/disembarkation card: Date of travel, country of residence, nationality, age, sex, usual address, purpose of visit.

(b) Survey of Outgoing Tourists

The data collected relate mainly to expenditure pattern, purpose and frequency of visits, accommodation and rating of facilities.

 29.7 Outputs


29.7.1 Publications




 Time lag 

First issue 

 Economic and Social Indicator on International Travel and Tourism 


7 weeks


Digest of International Travel and Tourism 


7 months


 Handbook of Statistical Data on Tourism 


6 months


 Survey of Outgoing Tourists 


10 months


 29.7.2 Other

Monthly tourist arrivals by country of residence are circulated to hotels and other stakeholders, three weeks after the reference month.

29.8 Guidelines followed

Tourism statistics are compiled according to the concepts and definitions laid down by the World Tourism Organisation.

29.9 Data availability

  • Passenger traffic by sex as from 1933.
  • Passenger traffic by mode of transport as from 1962.
  • Tourist arrivals by country of residence as from 1963.

29.10 Future plans

  • Preliminary tables of the Tourist satellite account have been submitted to the World Tourism Organisation for their views.
  • Setting up of a Hotel Price Index.

 Contact Person

Ms. R. Moraby

Ministry of Tourism

Ken Lee Tower, 7th Floor

Barracks Street

Port Louis

Tel. (230) 210-9832
Fax: (230) 211-4150

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