The first Europeans to have visited Mauritius were the Portuguese at the beginning of the sixteenth century (most probably in 1510). The Dutch who settled in the island in 1598 named it Mauritius after Prince Maurice of Nassau. Among other things, the Dutch introduced sugar cane and the Java deer before leaving in 1710 where they had found in the mean time a far better settling place: The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
About five years later, in 1715, the French occupied the island, renaming it “Isle de France”. Mauritius achieved independence on 12 March 1968 and adopted a constitution based on the British parliamentary system. The first post-independence years were difficult but after more than 15 years of planning and hard work, Mauritius achieved economic and political stability. Mauritius changed its status to that of a Republic on 12 March 1992.
Tourism in Mauritius is an important component of the Mauritian economy as well as a significant source of its foreign exchange revenues. The tourism industry is also a major economic pillar on the island of Rodrigues, however tourism has not been developed in Agaléga Islands. Mauritius is mostly appreciated by tourist for its natural beauty and man-made attractions, multi-ethnic and cultural diversity of the population, tropical climate, beautiful beaches and water sports.