Port Louis - The number of tourists visiting Mauritius rose 4.6% in 2014, driven by increased demand from Europe and China, the government said on Thursday.
Earnings from tourism, which is a valuable source of foreign exchange for the Indian Ocean island state, rose 10.8% year-on-year in the nine months to September, to $1bn. The full-year earnings figure has not yet been released.
The tourism ministry said arrivals rose to 1 038 968 last year from 993 106 in the previous year. Numbers from Europe, which accounts for 54.9% of visitors to Mauritius climbed 4.3% to 570 548.
Tourists from Asia rose 19.5% to 158 361 driven by higher numbers from China, which jumped 51.2% to 63 365.
Mauritius, like other long-haul destinations in the region, has turned east in search of sun-worshippers wanting a slice of Indian Ocean paradise to compensate for weak growth in more traditional European markets.