My Dear Robert Desvaux,
It appears you are very nervous these days as the tourism industry is on a standstill mode and you seem to cry “Encore Chouchou” when reading the menu of hotels. I need all my skills to convince my students to use our national carrier to fly to Malaysia because the food on board is horrible. Flyers are punished for the “farsighted” vision of our HEDGERS. No heads roll in Mauritius. We only crown them.
Robert, this is a strange country. If there is an Olympic competition for shoot-in-the foot, we will win all medals hands down. The Beach Authority, The Tourism Authority and the Coast Guards are targeting each other on le Morne Beach to the enjoyment of tourists. A similar quarrel took place in Pereybère some time ago. Our beaches are preferred destinations for all sorts of squatters. No wonder then that the kite surfers are frightened away.
Lately, the Organisers of the Commonwealth Conference joined the fray by showing the ugly face of Mauritius to 800 foreign delegates. The foreign press has their eyes focused on us for any negative image we care to show.
Beginning 2000, with the contribution of the Forestry department, the Mobile Force, Sugar Estates and Hotels in the North, my School planted decorative trees along the Highway from Grand Bay to Pamplemousses. We thought this was our contribution to make Mauritius attractive. You bet. The plants died because the then non-labour Minister of Environment did not have a budget to water them.
Lately, I proposed a Road show in Malaysia in a Hockey Club to promote Mauritius as a tourist destination to the jet set under the patronage of the King. Mauritius would have to pay the meals and entertainment only. Neither Air Mauritius nor the Minister of Tourism showed any interest.
Robert, with geniuses who indulge in self-inflicted injuries as your partners, do we need enemies to conspire against us. We are more than self-sufficient in conspirators. Pity the Prime Minister who is dreaming of a bright future for our tourism and pity mortals like me who are trying hard to understand the Mauritian malaise. For the moment, this affliction is not only incomprehensible; it is beyond cure as well. If the heat is unbearable, you have no choice but a dilemma: Either you leave the kitchen or rush with the cry “ seul contre tous!”.