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iland2PORT LOUIS: Mauritius said on Monday it expected the number of tourists visiting the Indian Ocean island to rise 3.6 percent in 2013, helped by arrivals from markets like China and India.


Statistics Mauritius said in a statement that based on arrivals data and information from the industry it is expecting arrivals for 2012 to grow slightly to 965,000 in 2012 from 964,642 in 2011.


"The forecasted number of tourist for 2013 is around 1,000,000 representing an increase of 3.6 percent," it said.


Mauritius is diversifying into emerging markets like China and India to cushion itself from a slowdown in its main market, Europe.


The Indian Ocean island's tourism revenue for the year is forecast at around 43.5 billion rupees ($1.41 billion), up 1.8 percent on the 42.7 billion generated in 2011.


According to the Bank of Mauritius, tourism receipts for 2013 should be about 47 billion rupees, an increase of 8 percent over 2012.


Statistics Mauritius said tourist arrivals were up 0.2 percent at 675,584 in the nine months to September compared with the same period last year. It said the average room occupancy rate for all hotels for the first nine months was 60 percent against 63 percent a year ago.


At the end of September 2012, there were 105 registered hotels in operation, with a total room capacity of 11,715 and 23,899 bedplaces.


Copyright Reuters, 2012


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