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Indian Ocean Tourism Trades Wealthy Europeans for Chinese Weekenders

Excerpt from Financial Times

Aug 27, 2013 12:01 am

Skift Take

The Chinese tourists provide an much needed economic boost to the small, tourism-dependent islands, but their contributions are less than the Europeans that preceded them leaving the destinations to look for new ways to attract and keep their new clientele.

— Samantha Shankman

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Sarah Ackerman  / Flickr

Lounge chairs set up on the beach at Resort Reethi Rah in the Maldives. Sarah Ackerman / Flickr


Ms Xiong and her husband reflect the changing face of the multi-billion dollar tourism industry of Mauritius, Maldives and the Seychelles. Increasingly, Chinese travellers are offsetting what has been a sharp drop in European visitors to the Indian Ocean.

“The Chinese have saved tourism in the Indian Ocean,” says Kee Chong Li, a prominent politician and businessman in Mauritius who is himself of Chinese ancestry.

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