Mauritius: The Mont Choisy Heritage zone, an ancient architecture renovated to the tune of Rs 125 million with the aim to preserve the historical legacy of Mauritius, was inaugurated yesterday, in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo, at Mont Choisy Golf and Beach.
The Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage, Mr Avinash Teeluck, the Chairman of the Mont Choisy Group, Mr Vincent Rogers, the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, Dr Jyoti Jeetun, and other eminent personalities were present.
The Heritage zone is embellished with flamboyants and century-old banyan trees, stone structures, tortoises, chimney ruins, and the last remnants of the bygone era comprising ancient facilities used for the treatment of aloe vera and the lime kiln.
It also includes the old creole house with its wrought iron “Portail de l’amitié” which was a gift from King Radama II from Madagascar. The residence has been in the family’s possession since 1926.
In his address, the DPM underlined that the La Maison de Mont Choisy and the Heritage Zone would be a symbol of respect for Heritage in our society while commending the Group for choosing to create its modern Smart City around a cultural heritage site. The magnificence of this 200-year-old estate re-instated and renovated will showcase nineteenth-century Mauritian lifestyle and history, he indicated.
The architectural Heritage, he said, is a precious legacy that will safeguard and provide access to Heritage which, in turn, will contribute to enhancing social cohesion and fostering a sense of belonging to the nation.
According to him, this project also creates opportunities for tapping the cultural tourism market, as visiting historical sites is a popular activity among tourists around the world.
He stated that the project is an example of how to create investment opportunities while preserving our historical and cultural Heritage.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he observed that countries worldwide are rethinking tourism to build back better. Mauritius, he added, has to rethink and come up with ways to flourish in the tourism sector.
“We are on the right track to achieve the first challenging objective to welcome 1 million tourists for the year 2022”, he rejoiced. In addition, a study will be carried out in collaboration with the World Bank to chart out a New Tourism Strategy for the next ten years, he announced.
Sustainability, including resilience, inclusiveness, equity and digital transformation, as well as cultural, historic and inland tourism, will be focus areas for the enrichment of our tourism product, thereby providing Mauritius with a brand personality of its own; the DPM also indicated.
Government, he reiterated, will continue to support community-led projects such as exhibitions, publications, and documentaries that promote our rich and diverse backgrounds.
Developments undertaken by the Mont Choisy Group over the past decade have greatly contributed to shaping the socio-economic landscape of the northern region of Mauritius, he said.
The Group, he recalled, has, to date, invested some Rs 11.5 billion in real estate and hospitality projects, including the construction of luxury residential units at Mont Choisy Le Parc, an 18-hole golf course at Mont Choisy Le Golf and a link road from La Croisette to the Grand Baie coastal road called Le Boulevard de Mont Choisy.
DPM Obeegadoo indicated that projects like Smart Cities and other private infrastructure developments are expected to drive the growth of the construction sector in the coming years. Over the last five years, some Rs 21 billion have been invested in smart cities for the development of infrastructure, educational facilities, residential projects, medical facilities, as well as sports and leisure facilities which contribute to improving the lives of the citizens, he underlined.
He highlighted the need for careful coordination and a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to make Mauritius more cohesive, inclusive and dynamic and to build a smart Nation for the people.
For his part, Mr Rogers spoke of the need to valorise the lands and create more green spaces. He also dwelt on the concept of smart and sustainable cities, adding that culture has an essential role to play in sustainable and urban development.
Mauritius, he said, is presently a golf destination that caters to development and economic progress and, at the same time, consolidates its historical foundation.
As for Dr Jeetun, she underlined that the Mont Choisy Group comprises a championship golf course and over 200 residences, with seven major ongoing projects. The Group, she stated, employs around 200 persons and is working towards creating more job opportunities in the future. In addition, she pointed out that some Rs 45 billion will be invested in projects that will bring about change, create some 10 000 jobs, and improve the quality of life of citizens.
She thanked the Board members and the stakeholders who are striving to translate the vision of Mont Choisy Group into reality and expressed gratitude to the Government for providing continuous support to the Group in its determination to help drive the engine of development in the country.