April 10, 2017 / 10:02 AM / 4 months ago

Mauritius tourist arrivals rise 3.6 pct in first quarter: stats office

A Chinese couple from Yunnan pose for a photographer during a wedding photo session at the Cap Malheureux beach on the Indian Ocean island Mauritius, August 5, 2015.Jacky Naegelen

PORT LOUIS,  (Reuters) - The number of tourists visiting Mauritius rose 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from a year ago, mainly due to more visitors from Europe and Asia, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

Tourism is a major source of foreign currency for the Indian Ocean island state, known for its luxury spas and beaches.

Arrivals in the first three months of 2016 rose to 339,682 from 327,836 last year, Statistics Mauritius said.

Visitors from Europe, who account for roughly two thirds of tourist numbers, rose 4.7 percent to 208,876. The number of tourists from Asia rose by 4.8 percent to 51,670.

The statistics agency expects visitor numbers to rise 5.0 percent to 1,340,000 this year.

Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by Katharine Houreld and Louise Ireland

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