Sustainable Island Mauritius

Improving the Positive Impact of the Tourism Industry

Around 1.3 million tourists visit Mauritius every year, an island state of 1.27 million inhabitants. This raises the question: How to ensure that the rapid development of the tourism industry benefits tourists as well as local communities in a sustainable manner.

With the Mauritius Tourism Development Plan, the country has set the goal of acquiring the “Green Destination” status by 2030. Central to Mauritius’ green growth is the promotion of sustainable tourism, which entails reducing negative impacts (such as resource overuse, emissions, waste and negative social consequences) while enhancing positive sustainability impacts (such as resource circularity, community development, cultural preservation, and ecosystem quality).

In this view, the CSCP and the Mauritius Tourism Authority collaborated on the implementation of the Sustainable Island Mauritius project (2018 – 2022). This project aimed to advance sustainable tourism in Mauritius by showcasing and scaling up self-sustaining mechanisms designed to improve sustainability impacts across value chains. Additionally, it played a vital role in raising awareness on sustainable tourism products, ultimately establishing a thriving market for them.

Mauritius has around 400 tour operators that serve as a bridge between inbound tourists and local service providers. Tour operators generate about 50% of hotel customers and are responsible for over 70% of crafts and artisan product sales. The SIM project targeted tour operators and their suppliers, including hotels, tour guides, taxi drivers, and local SME’s (like handicraft makers) in order to increase the positive impact.

In this project, the CSCP developed and tailored the Pro-Handprint Innovation (PHI) Framework for the specific context of Mauritius. The MauPHI Framework serves as a valuable tool to assist businesses in identifying and lowering negative impacts while targeting, managing, measuring, and communicating the positive impacts of tourism. Given that tourism relies heavily on local resources, such as the local workforce and natural resources, the MauPHI Framework stands as an innovative tool that empowers businesses to generate value by proactively addressing local challenges. This approach not only brings sustainable solutions to local communities but also ensures the future resilience of their businesses.

The MauPHI Framework, within the context of the Sustainable Island Mauritius project, equipped tour operators and their suppliers with essential tools to prioritise and effectively implement high-impact innovations. These innovations span various facets, including supply chain management, product innovation, communication and marketing, organisational management, and operations. The project explored innovation opportunities throughout the entire value chains, encompassing aspects such as accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, excursions, souvenirs, and more.

Moreover, the project played a central role in facilitating the implementation and scaling up of sustainable tourism practices, spanning supply chain management and product/service innovation. This was achieved through active engagement with key enablers, including policymakers, financial institutions, local communities, and industry associations (e.g., Made in Moris).

As part of product/service innovation, the project introduced Circular Economy principles in product and service design. By introducing the importance of designing out the “waste” in the design phase, the SIM project promoted a Circular Economy approach within the local tourism sector.

Additionally, the CSCP developed a co-creation workshop series to bring together local SME’s and Tour Operators/Hotels to co-create new sustainable tourism products. You can see some of the results in this Video:


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The Sustainable Island Mauritius project contributed to Mauritius’ vision of becoming a green destination to visit and a sustainable island to live on, where:

  • Tour operators, suppliers, and stakeholders were mobilised and empowered to develop, promote, and deliver sustainable tourism products for the mainstream market
  • Sustainability was promoted as a key innovation ingredient for tourism products
  • Tourists were attracted to and enjoyed tourism products that generated positive economic, societal, environmental, and cultural impacts for Mauritius
  • The tourism generated sustainable solutions to local challenges

The project was initiated in September 2018 and was implemented by a multi-stakeholder consortium consisting of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Environment, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Association, the Mauritius Tourism Authority, the Association of Hotels & Restaurants in Mauritius (AHRIM), the Association of Hotels de Charme, the Association of Tour Operators Mauritius (AIOM), the Association of Tourism Professionals (ATP), and the Association of Tourist Operators (ATO).

The Sustainable Island Mauritius project was funded by the European Commission under the Switch Africa Green Programme.