Elite Living Africa mauritusMauritus has seen huge potential in African countries to grow tourism especially in the West African region. (Photo: Heritage)Mauritius is eyeing Nigeria and other African countries to enhance growth in tourism revenue that is set to reach nearly 10 per cent this year, the country's deputy minister and tourism minister Xavier Luc Duval said.

Mauritius recorded 114,796 visitors from Africa in the first five months of this year, accounting for 22 per cent of the total, according to Statistics Mauritius. More than half of the visitors from Africa came from the island of Reunion which is southwest of Mauritius and 37,168 came in from South Africa.

“Africa represents a huge potential for Mauritius, which we need to seize,” Duval said in a recent phone interview.

“There are people who are very rich and there is a middle class that is growing on the continent. We are doing well in the South African market, but there are many other countries that interest us, like Nigeria or the entire West African region.”

Last year, tourism accounted for 7.6 per cent of Mauritian gross domestic product, meaning it was the fourth-largest industry in the country. The tourism sector is set to reach new heights with a projected growth of 6.4 per cent this year, compared with 8.5 per cent in 2015.