Caring for the Destination – Mauritius Sustainable Tourism

When living on an island, the proverb "what comes around goes around" takes on a whole new dimension.

Practically speaking, the trash you throw into the river today will be the flotsam surrounding you when swimming in the lagoon tomorrow. So it is better to think twice about the impact you are creating, plus about the impact of the visitors you attract to the island as a tourism business.

With not only an ever growing island population, but also a stark increase in tourism, nature preservation is without doubt one of the most important issues in Mauritius. And it is our challenge, pleasure and pride to link it with exciting leisure activities such as hiking, mountain-biking, horse riding, trekking and kayaking and of course lodgings in any type island holiday accommodation.

Our carefully selected promoters of above mentioned activities and premises maintain a strict policy of nature preservation and also tell their clients about it. Any remaining garbage their visitors may leave behind is collected by their employees, and also by the crew members on the boats offering pleasure-trips and excursions. We as a conscious tour operator choose to work with them, just as you as a conscious tourist are eager to visit an unspoiled nature reserve without leaving a trace.

Indeed, as the issue of nature protection becomes more and more important, it is our aim that hotels, lodges and services offering protection measures are given preference by the majority of tourists and become more and more of a normal feature in Mauritius.

Actually, any hotels' or any type lodgings' measures for the preservation of the environment start before the building of the place: Local people might have inhabited the area for generations and it is wise and just to listen to the surrounding communities and grant them access to the beach while still in the planning stages of a tourist accommodation project. Further means of sustainable tourism can consist of sun-generated energy, water-recycling, conscious towel service and linen service on demand of the guests only. This not only helps saving water but also the delicate balance in the lagoon, which is threatened by pollution through detergents and bleaching agents. But this is not all. Actually it can make a great difference to hire people from the surrounding villages instead of contributing to pollution by having them chartered by bus from afar on a daily basis.

Plus what's cooking in the kitchen is a most important clue in checking whether a hotels' engagement for the natural health of the island is real and can be vital in reducing the carbon footprint..

Of course this small island cannot cater for its 1.2 Million inhabitants plus visitors, so a large part of the food served on its tables comes from countries such as South Africa, China, India and even Europe. But it makes a great difference if those importing foodstuffs from afar are aware that by choosing local produce they can save on transport and customs and reduce pollution. Local cuisine with its main ingredients obtained directly from local fishermen and planters is actually quite sophisticated. After all, this is the place of palm heart specialties and smoked Marlin, right?

So this is one side of the coin. The other side consists of preserving and keeping the cultures of the island alive; and there is an amazing variety of cultures in Mauritius. Engaging actively in their survival can actually be an enriching holiday experience in itself; a magical and special time spent in a positive way. And amazingly, the providers themselves, those small enterprises, restaurants, tour guide operations or fishermen out there are a wonderful source of information, and a firsthand example of how exactly to behave on a small rock in an immense Ocean and leave as small an impact as possible. Their ancestors who came from afar have carefully adapted to Mauritius' unique nature and created a lifestyle they are proud to share with you today and on an ongoing basis.

We on our side are proud to know them and eager to introduce you so that all sides involved may be enriched by a truly sustainable form of tourism.

To us, sustainable tourism in Mauritius means the sharing of the unique cultural, natural and historical resources of one of the most interesting and richest spots on Earth – a veritable melting-pot of cultures, races and varieties, where some of the rarest plant and animal species can be found; some of them even once believed to be extinct like the pink pigeon and the kestrel falcon; others clinging on to small islands off the coast of the main isle such as the colony of baume del'ile plate bushes on Gabriel Island, or the endemic boa on Round Island.