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Mauritius Tourist Arrivals Fall In First Quarter

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The number of tourists visiting Mauritius fell 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago as arrivals from Europe dwindled, official data showed.

The number of tourists fell to 263,716. Arrivals from Europe, which provides two-thirds of the total, fell 4.3 percent to 151,861. Visitors from France declined by 4 percent, from the United Kingdom by 4.9 percent and from Italy by 26.6 percent.

New markets in the East helped make up for some of the decline. Visitors from China increased 93.4 percent to 18,034.

Mauritius is a popular vacation destination, famed for its azure waters, white beaches and luxury spas. But the European financial crisis has cut into tourism and the government is looking to develop new Asian markets.

(Reuters)