|Hotels procedures & conditions|
Step 1 - Incorporation of a local company
The promoter/investor must incorporate a local company to undertake an economic activity in the tourist sector. It is a rapid and simple procedure that consists of two main steps:
The Companies Division (please click), is the sole government agency whereby the formalities for incorporation of the company have to be completed. A Guide to the Companies Act 2001 (please click) has been prepared to assist investors in this procedure.
Step 2– Approval of the Ministry of Tourism & Leisure
A copy of the project detailing the concept, investment level, number of rooms, proposed employment creation, hotel facilities to be offered, site plan and overall design architectural plans. Investors are invited to consult the Hotel Development Policy, the Hotel Design Guidelines and the Hotel Minimum Standards Conditions for the type of hotel development that is being promoted by Government.
Upon approval of the project, a Letter of Intent will be obtained from the Ministry subject to all other permits and clearances being obtained.
Step 3 – Land clearances
Prior to embarking on a project, promoters shall ensure that the proposed development is compatible with the zoning of the site and that relevant clearances such as land conversion permit (if applicable) and land ownership or authorisation or lease agreement have been obtained (please refer to guidelines relating to land issues)
Step 4 – Planning Clearance
The Planning Clearance is a clearance letter on plans of developments on State Lands as the Lessee of the State Land is required by the conditions of the lease agreement to submit buildings plans of his development for approval.
Step 5 – Environment Impact Assessment
While planning for a project, promoters must ensure that all socio-economical and environmental parameters are addressed and their impacts are identified and taken into account in the project design. Developers will have to gather substantive and indicative information on any adverse environmental effects and consult the Environment Protection Act. The Act aims at the protection of the environmental assets of Mauritius and a sustainable development of the Island.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Licence is thus required for coastal hotels (located within one kilometre of the high water mark). The application for an EIA licence must be made to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development as per the guidelines (please click) issued by the Ministry. A reply from the Ministry should be expected within three months of the effective submission of the application.
For inland hotels, no EIA will be required. However, environmental guidelines (please click) have been drafted by the Ministry and have to be applied.
The promoter will have to check with the Road Development Authority if a Traffic Impact Assessment will be required. This Assessment, if required, can be undertaken during the EIA process.
Step 6 - Utilities clearances
These have to be sought from the Central Electricity Board, Central Water Authority and the Waste Water Management Authority. Hotels with over 75 rooms are required to have their own waste water treatment plant.
Step 7 - Building and Land Use Permit
A Building and Land Use Permit (BLP) is required to start the construction of a building or effect extensive alterations, additions or repairs to an existing building or carry out development of land or change the use of a building from one cluster to another. The permit is delivered by the relevant municipal or district council. Failure to obtain a Building and Land Use Permit can result in significant fines and penalties, and even demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet the planning requirements.
An application for a building and land use permit must thus be submitted to the relevant local authority prior the development of the hotel. The application must be in conformity to the guidelines issued by the local authority, the Ministry of Health, the Fire Services and the Police Department.
The various steps to obtain a BLP are as follows:
Step 8 – Project is implemented
Upon receipt of the Building and Land Use Permit, the promoter can start the construction of the hotel in line with the approved plans.
Step 9 – Permit to operate: Tourism Authority
No person is allowed to run or carry on a tourist enterprise unless he holds a valid Tourism Enterprise License. For this purpose an application for hotel development must be submitted to the Tourism Authority on the prescribed application form together related document (please click) .
Therefore, for the operation of a hotel and other tourist accommodation facilities (Guest house and Tourist residence) including annexed activities offered in the hotel (eg Spa, boat house, gym, golf, etc.), an application must be made to the Tourism Authority for a Tourism Enterprise Licence and the licence issued shall be valid for 12 months as from the date of issue. The list of activities that can be provided by a hotel and that requires a Tourist Enterprise License include:
Other tourist-related activities are:
Source: Tourism Authority
The Tourist Enterprise Licence for Restaurant (including liquor and alcoholic products) will be issued upon the submission of a licence issued by the Mauritius Revenue Authority. Applicant should simultaneously submit their application to the Tourism Authority and the MRA.
The Tourism Authority, together with the other Authorities, namely, health and fire, will inspect the premises to ensure that the project has been implemented according to the relevant regulations relating to health and safety.
Information of the process flow to obtain a Tourist Enterprise Licence is available here .
Step 10 – Project becomes operational
After the licenses have been obtained, the project can start to operate
Step 11– Ex-post controls
The promoters must ensure that the project is operated according to the guidelines of the various authorities as regular control and inspection of the premises will be carried out to ensure compliance.
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