PORT LOUIS – Plans to have direct aerial flights between Mauritius and China have been completed, with the air route to be opened soon, according to officials in the Indian Ocean island country.

The information was released on Thursday after a Mauritius delegation led by President Anerood Jugnauth returned on Tuesday from a two-week trip to China.

The objective of the visit was to increase Mauritius’ visibility in China, officials said.

Plans for Air Mauritius to fly directly to China have been completed. "The only thing left is to know which airport we shall start flying to and when exactly we shall start to fly to China," member of the delegation said.

Nando Bodha, the tourism minister, on Thursday plans to give more details about this trip to China, especially "the discussions we held with Hainan Airlines Company Ltd," an official said.

Mauritius and Reunion have proposed to have a joint promotion campaign in China, officials indicated.

After visiting Mauritius, Chinese visitors would also like to see its sister island, so that they can talk to the people of Reunion and see the volcanoes, they said.

In this regard, discussions have already taken place between Mauritius and the Reunion authorities to allow Chinese tourists to enter the island of Reunion without paying for an entry visa.

Discussions between the Chinese and Mauritius authorities will proceed in Mauritius on Sept 15-16.

A member of the delegation said Chinese economic operators showed more and more interest in Mauritius.

After attending the Shanghai World Expo, the country’s tourism minister and other Mauritius tourism operators went on a mission to Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

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