Since 2009 tourists were able to travel to Mauritius on holidays without even a passport, although an ID, a return ticket, proof of accommodation and financial means were all required. This is the good news.
The bad news is that it applies only to French holidaymakers. And the bad news for them is that this promotional campaign ends on the 31st of January.
This initiative was launched in 2009 during the time when there was social unrest in Guadeloupe. Mauritius wanted to attract those tourists who had to cancel their holidays in this French overseas territory where they don’t need a passport to travel to.
According to the ministry of Tourism in Mauritius, this travel-without-passport initiative was a resounding success that was extended several times. However, that leads to the question of how many tourists travel overseas without a passport. Mauritius wants to advertise herself as a luxury destination, not one for stag nights over a weekend, as is the custom in the capitals of Europe.
Due to the isolated geographical location of Mauritius, most tourists come from far away and travel many hours by plane. If they do choose Mauritius as their travel destination, it’s because they have actively chosen to do so and have the financial means. A lack of passport will not stand in their way and they will most probably already have one or just need to renew theirs. What is this type of tourists who travel without passport abroad that the authorities in Mauritius are trying to welcome? If this initiative was such a success, why end it now?
Nevertheless, if you are French and without passport, you have now exactly one month to be able to travel to Mauritius.