INBOUND TOUR OPERATORS If you are happy to forego your independence for a while, the easiest way to get around and see the sights of Mauritius is by taking one of the conducted tours run by a tour operator. They provide an instant introduction to the island, enabling the visitor to discover places that they can return to later and explore independently. Inbound tour operators (ground handlers) meet arrivals at the airport on behalf of the hotels and overseas tour operators. They provide leaflets about their services to incoming guests and many have desks at hotels.
The larger tour operators, listed below, can organise almost anything, including car hire, private driver/guide and all manner of activities and excursions. They can also provide guides fluent in a range of languages. Group excursions last either a half or full day and most include lunch and entrance fees to the attractions visited.
White Sand Tours was established in 1974 and is one of the most successful and innovative destination management companies in Mauritius. The company employs 200 highly competent staff and has its own fleet of well-maintained vehicles. In 1996, it was the first destination management company in the Indian Ocean to obtain the ISO9002 certificate, an internationally recognised quality assurance standard. In 2008, it was the first to launch a Sustainable Development Charter, which encompasses employee welfare, environmental awareness, socially responsible tourism, corporate responsibility for the wider community and a collective movement for sustainable development. As well as the usual tours, either chauffeur-driven or in groups, the company can arrange activities such as deep-sea fishing, sailing, helicopter flights, horseriding, mountain climbing and trekking.
Smaller tour operators usually specialise in a few organised group tours and most are to be found around Grand Baie and Trou d’Eau Douce. Their prices may not include entrance fees.
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