Mauritius offers its expertise to promote tourism in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Mauritius High Commissioner to Pakistan Rashidally Soobadar on Wednesday offered his country’s expertise to exploit Pakistan’s untapped potential of tourism sector, saying he believed it can significantly contribute to the national economy. “Mauritius has a very organized tourism sector which contributes 25 per cent to its GDP, and I offer my country’s technical assistance to promote services and system to make Pakistan an international tourists’ hub” he said in an interview with APP. Quoting Pakistan’s “mesmerizing scenic northern areas and weather conditions,” Soobadar said Pakistan was an ideal country and, “I suggest the authorities concerned to adopt Mauritius model to make it an ideal tourists’ destination.” He said his country, a small island with 1.2 million populations, annually attracts over 1.5 million tourists which, “reflects how we have exploited tourism sector to contribute in our national economy.” The Mauritius High Commissioner also offered to train Pakistani youth in hotel management as tourism sector’s success “lies in the quality services being offered at these facilities establish around tourist destinations.” “We have a very soft visa policy for Pakistanis and his country is ready to further facilitate to the willing students from here, who can benefit from the education opportunities available there.” The Mauritius has 100 percent literacy rate and its national are enjoying free education, however, intending Pakistani students can be accommodated on a nominal fee structure, he added. He said that tourism sector had emerged as an engine of growth in Mauritius, and it is one of fastest growing socio-economic sectors that was fueling economic growth and creating jobs and business opportunities. Recommending Pakistan to make tourism a national subject, Rashidally said, besides good road infrastructure and standard hotels quality transport was also vital to facilitate and attract tourists. He also highlighted that opportunities for the Pakistani manpower in Mauritius exist. “The country has $13,000 per capita income which is quite attractive for the Pakistani workforce.” To a question about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, he said his country was interested to reap trade benefits from One Belt One Road initiative but some modalities were required to be determined for Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. After completion of the CPEC project the trade ties would be boosted with the entire region especially the African continent and Pakistan’s access to those markets can help its economy, he remarked. The High Commissioner noting the cultural and historic similarities between the two countries said the cooperation could be extended in this area of common interest. Mauritius, Rashidally said, stood by the people of Pakistan in the times of calamities and his country’s government and people’s recent air shipment of relief goods for the flood affected here was testimony to this.