Mauritius wants to attract digital nomads to revive its tourism industry

By : Muriel Edjo

Date : vendredi, 11 mars 2022 17:51

Last updated : vendredi, 11 mars 2022 18:04

In the past decade, Mauritius has invested heavily in ICT to create a digital economy as announced in 2010. This has helped the country better cope with the economic crisis induced by Covid-19.

The Mauritian government has decided to leverage its digital assets to boost tourism, whose contribution to the country’s GDP plunged by 62.1% in 2020 due to Covid-19. From 19.5% of the GDP and $2.4 billion of revenues in 2019, the sector tumbled to 8.7% and $945.5 million in 2020.  

Now, the Island no longer focuses on using the Internet and the web for tourism promotion; rather, it wants to build a robust digital environment to attract location-independent workers. 

Last month, Nilen Vencadasmy (photo), chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, started touring some African countries to sell this new vision. On 26th February, he was in South Africa which is considered an important market; 130,000 South Africans visited Mauritius in 2019. 

The Premium Travel Visa is the first digital asset that Mauritius will use to achieve its new ambitions. Launched on November 16, 2020, this one-year renewable residence permit granted to non-Mauritian nationals is accessible online. The Mauritius Economic Development Committee specifies that applicants for this permit must meet several criteria, including not being involved in the Mauritian labor market, proving that the main place of business and the source of income and profits are outside Mauritius. 

Mauritius' other digital assets are grouped into a digital ecosystem conducive to remote work. The country ranked 8th in Africa for average mobile Internet speed in January 2022 with 20.59 megabits per second (Mbps), as well as 7th in Africa for average fixed Internet speed with 19.88 Mbps, according to Speedtest Global Index.

As for the cost of the Internet,, in its report "Worldwide mobile data pricing 2021. The cost of 1GB of mobile data in 230 countries," ranks Mauritius 5th in sub-Saharan Africa for the average cost of accessing 1 Gigabit (GB): $0.75. The Portulans Institute and STL's Network Readiness Index 2021 rank the country among the best in Africa in terms of Internet coverage. In the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, Mauritius ranks first in the level of security of its information systems since 2014. 

By targeting digital nomads, Mauritius, which plans to "relax the entry protocol in the coming weeks," according to Nilen Vencadasmy, hopes to once more make tourism a strong contributor to GDP, not only by ensuring that the industry regains its previous dynamism but also by attracting quality visitors.

Muriel Edjo


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