Mascarene Islands at a Glance
Working in the Mascarene Islands
Mauritius has a growing financial sector. One of its key aims is to attract investors who are looking for a secure platform from which to invest in Africa.
Tourism is a growth industry for Mauritius and generates over 11% (direct) and 25% (indirect) of the country’s total GDP. The island relies on its beautiful scenery, biodiversity, and opportunities for diving in the surrounding coral reefs to attract its many visitors. However, the island’s wildlife has been impacted by the gradual population expansion and increased building development both for residents and tourists with many species having become endangered and some extinct. Of course, loss of species is not entirely a recent phenomenon, with the dodo having been hunted to extinction as far back as the 17th century.
Agriculture is a major sector in the economy of Réunion. Key export crops include rum, sugar and vanilla. Vanilla production was so important in the 19th century when it was introduced to the island by the French that the highest quality vanilla in the world became known as Bourbon vanilla, named after the Ile de Bourbon as Réunion was then known. Today vanilla production facilities are based in the town of Saint-Benoit. Early this century revenues from tourism overtook those from sugar production, and Réunion is now one of the most popular holiday destinations for citizens of mainland France.
As an overseas department, Réunion receives economic support from France. The local currency is the Euro. The GDP per capita is far higher in Réunion than in Mauritius and Rodrigues, but still significantly lower than in mainland France. Unemployment levels are high at up to 30%, and many young people from Réunion choose to move to France.
Job Hunting in the Mascarene Islands
As Réunion is a department of France, the official language of the island is French, so you will have a far greater chance of finding employment in Réunion if you are fluent in the language. There are always openings for people who teach English as a foreign language, who wishes to work in Réunion. If you want to find work in Réunion the simplest option is to search online at recruitment agencies such as DOMemploi.
There are several specialist recruitment websites advertising job vacancies in Mauritius and Rodrigues including Mauritiusjobs and Myjob.mu. If you are interested in working in the tourist industry, the website HotelJobs specializes in employment in the hotel and leisure sector.
Taxation in the Mascarene Islands
Residents of Mauritius are taxed on their total income from any employment or interests worldwide. If you are a non-resident of Mauritius your income tax payable in Mauritius will be based only on what you earn locally. Taxation is very low, which is why Mauritius has attracted high levels of overseas investors. The tax year in the Mascarene Islands is aligned with the calendar year.