Holidaymakers still flocking to Mauritius

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The shocking murder of Tyrone woman Michaela McAreavey hasn’t put North West holidaymakers off travelling to the exotic destination, according to local travel agents.

The revelation comes despite a well supported Facebook campaign titled, ‘Justice for the McAreavey/Harte families (Boycott tourism Mauritius)’ which has in excess of 17,500 ‘Likes’.

Local Travel Counsellor Janine Hay said: “Many of my clients are still continuing to choose the Indian Ocean island as a destination.

“They are taking the attitude that you must be open-minded when travelling. Personally, I am travelling to Mauritius next month for a holiday and I have been three times before.

“I have always found the people there to be incredibly hospitable and courteous. It’s terrible what has happened to Michaela McAreavey but imagine if people stopped travelling to Ireland because of our past? We would have no tourism whatsoever.”

Other travel agents also confirmed that people were still enquiring about travel to the island.

However, Liberty Travel in Letterkenny have decided not to sell any holidays to the destination and have said: “We have had great support from the local community, including our clients in Derry, about our stance.

“It’s been very positive and we’re glad to have taken the decision.”

Mrs McAreavey, 27, was strangled in her room at the Legends hotel on the island in 2011 while on honeymoon with her husband, John.

The shock at the murder of the young teacher and former Rose of Tralee contestant was compounded by the failure of the Mauritian authorities to secure convictions in the murder case.

Two former hotel employees at the Legends resort were last week found not guilty of Michaela’s murder after a highly controversial trial on the island.

Pictures of the teacher lying dead in her room, published by a newspaper in Mauritius at the weekend, caused outrage.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the actions of the paper in publishing the photographs were “callous and unjustifiable”.