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Posted on June 10th, 2015

Responsible Tourism

Empowering Tourist Guides For Sustainable Tourism Development and Environment Protection

Sustainable Tourism Development

As a major stakeholder of the tourism industry, the Association of Inbound Operators (Mauritius) has a inherent responsibility to protect the ‘top-end’ reputation of tourism in our country and makes every endeavour to ensure that guided tourist groups are environmentally conscious and treat with respect our coastal environment, wildlife, sights and monuments, cultural heritage and also local customs and sensitivities.

AIOM and its members in particular, are important chains of our coastal environment-tourism linkages as they share extensive and privileged interaction with tourists and operators of tourist-related business activities such as hotels, restaurants, diving centres, big game fishing clubs, cruise organisers, recreational activity providers such as boating, snorkelling / diving, and wildlife viewing, etc. Coastal Environment Protection and Coastal Ecotourism is therefore of high concern to AIOM.

In its endeavour to promote sustainable tourism-related activities, the Association is currently implementing the project “Empowering Tourist Guides For Sustainable Tourism Development and Environment Protection” which is a capacity building program aiming to:
  • Reinforce AIOM institutional capabilities to (1) promote and market coastal friendly inbound services (tourists’ activities and attractions) and (2) sensitize and educate users in sustainable utilisation and preservation of our costal zones to enhance our coastal environment-tourism linkages;
  • Provide ‘Tourist Guides and Front-Liners’ with the skills, knowledge, and tools to help them in their new role ‘as Eco-Tourist Advocates’ to promote national awareness and education of tourists and recreational activity providers for sustainable and responsible utilisation of our costal areas;
  • Empower AIOM members with best practices to improve synergies with other operators (boat owners, travel agents, hotels, underwater diving centres, cruise organisers and other recreational service providers of the Tourism Industry) to encourage Coastal Eco-friendly tourist attractions and activities;
  • Involve stakeholders and coastal communities in the action to improve their awareness in thematic ICZM areas, motivating them in continuously developing eco-tourism related businesses for job creation and poverty alleviation; and
  • Ensure that tourists and the public at large are abiding to general coastal ecotourism principles.
  • The main partner of the project is Empretec Mauritius who is supplying the expertise required for implementation of the project. EM has a rich experience and competencies in project management and
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) which are essential supports to the AIOM.
  • The project is financed through a Call for Proposal, to the tune of Euro 100,000 (representing 87.4% of total cost) by ReCoMaP - Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones for and on behalf of The Indian Ocean Commission.



Main Activities Conducted:

1.0 Brainstorming Workshop and Action Plan to Promote Coastal / Eco-friendly Tourist Attractions and Activities

A brainstorming workshop was organised on 16 February 2010 at Four Points by Sheraton, as a common platform, to brainstorm and gather information as much as possible on the views and suggestions of AIOM Members and A Strategic Plan for AIOM has been formulated in view to Promote and Provide Coastal / Eco-Friendly Tourist Attractions and Activities.

2.0 Coastal Eco-Tourism Workshops for Tourist Guides

Tourist guides, being the front-liners of the industry, need to be effectively trained to be able to communicate and interact with tourists and the public in general concerning environmental aspects.


Workshops have been conducted in 5 batches to trained some 146 Tourist Guides in 3 Key Themes identified as the most priority areas:


  • Impacts of Pollution and Degradations on coastal ecosystems
  • Conservation of Fauna and Flora
  • Dolphin Watching

2.1 Workshop For Senior Guides – 15 April 2010, Ecole Hoteliere Sir Gaetan Duval.

The First Workshop was conducted with the Senior Guides, in which 21 Senior Guides and 5 PMU members participated actively, sharing experiences about their day-day dealing with tourists and bringing forward pertinent comments and remarks made by tourists concerning the environmental issues during their visits on the island.

2.2 Workshop For Tourist Guides – Batch 1, Wed 12 May 2010, Domaine de L’Arbre du Voyageur

Following inputs from the Senior Guides, the program was customised and adapted accordingly for the Tourist Guides.

The Second Workshop had 25 participants coming from the different member organisations of AIOM.

2.3 Workshop For Tourist Guides – Batch 2, Wed 26 May 2010, Hilton Resorts

The Third Workshop had 16 participants.

2.4 Workshop For Tourist Guides – Batch 3, Wed 09 June 2010, L’Aventure du Sucre

As the workshop proceeded, more and more tourist guides showed interest; the Fourth Workshop had 34 participants.

2.5 Workshop For Tourist Guides – Batch 4, Wed 23 June 2010, Domaine de Sept Valleés

The Fifth and last Workshop for Tourist Guides had 45 participants.

Estimated Results
  • Empowered AIOM, Tourist Guides and Front Liners, with improved ICZM skills, knowledge and tools.
  • Improved institutional capacity and visibility of AIOM in Eco-Tourism.
  • Increased number of sensitised eco-tourists and public in adopting coastal eco-friendly behaviours.
  • Mitigate negative environmental impact on coastal resources due to improved coastal-friendly tourism recreational activities and attractions.

Key Deliverables
  • AIOM Action Plan to Promote Coastal / Eco-friendly Tourist Attractions and Activities
  • Training of 146 Tourist Guides in Costal Eco-Tourism Workshop
  • Design of AIOM Eco-Tourists brochure
  • Improved internal practices of AIOM members through Eco-friendly initiatives
  • Upgrade of existing facilities of AIOM, including creation of a website

Project Duration
  • 12 Months (Nov 2009 – Nov 2010)



About Empretec Mauritius

Empretec Mauritius (EM), is part of a global Empretec Network (, is a non-profit making, non-governmental organization, member based grouping of Professionals, Managers,

Entrepreneurs and other high net worth individuals from various spheres of activities operating in Mauritius and the East African Region.

Empretec is an integrated capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Empretec is designed to promote and inject entrepreneurial skills and attitudes among entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enable them to become competitive, creative, innovative and visionary global market players.

EM Core Services
The services of Empretec Mauritius have been structured to provide both the hand holding first step into
entrepreneurship and sustained in-plant support for the various phases of SME development and
growth. Some of the core activities of EM are:

Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

  • Entrepreneurship Development Workshop
  • Business Process Reengineering
  • Productivity and Quality Improvement Programs
  • Financial Management and Access to Finance
  • Reinforcement of Management Capacity

Business Development and Value Added Services

  • Project Management and Implementation
  • Business Plans, Feasibility and Markey Surveys
  • International Networking and Clustering
  • Innovation and Competitiveness

Trade, Investment Facilitation and Regional

  • Integration
  • Business Facilitation Workshop
  • Investment Promotion and Partnership Meeting
  • Market Development and Regional Integration
  • Franchising

Network and Innovation Centre

  • Research and Development
  • Technology Transfer and Renewable Energy
  • Trade Preferences Erosion Study
  • Innovation and Quality

Contact Details
2nd Floor, Devi House, Dr. A. Perdreau Street, Port Louis

Tel: +230 210 8400 Fax: +230 210 8401



About ReCoMaP

ReCoMaP is a regional program for the sustainable management of the coastal zones of the countries of the Indian Ocean. It is an initiative of the Indian Ocean Commission, funded by the European Union, and it deals with seven countries of the region, namely Mauritius, the Seychelles, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia.

The specific objective of ReCoMaP is to strengthen the capacity of all stakeholders in order to promote sustainable management of marine and coastal resources in the countries of the Indian Ocean.

Contact Details
Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zone of the Countries of the Indian Ocean (ReCoMaP)
Programme de Gestion Durable de la Zone Côtière des pays de l’Ocean Indien (ProGeCo)

Regional Coordination Unit
112 Farquhar Ave
Quatre Bornes, Mauritius
Tel: +230 427 2583
Fax: +230 427 28 08