THE LADY WHO RE-INVENTED THE GONI 0 351

Meet Anouchka Sooriamoorthy-Desvaux de Marigny who came up with a brilliant and innovative idea to make this historic jute bag into luxury items available at the adresses below which she proudly share with us today.

But before let us re-share the work from Vintage Mauritius and some valuable history on this famous Goni.

‘Goni’ is the Mauritian Creole word for jute. Jute bags are part of the Mauritian history: they were used to wrap sugar canes. This word represents our philosophy: inspired by the beauty and the history of Mauritius, we make handmade, plastic free and authentic products. ‘Goni’ is a tropical chic and beach style brand.

GRNW – Women Washing Aloe Fibres in the River for Gounis Bags

Text & Image from www.vintagemauritius.org

Goni, apart from being used for packing commodities, was well-entrenched in the Mauritian tradition. It had a myriad of uses. It served as mattress for both the indentured labourers and the African slaves. The sugar-cane cutters used to wrap it around their waist up till their knees and also wore “souliers goni” in order to protect their legs and feet against sharp sugar-cane leaves. The dockers used to cover their heads to avoid deposit of dust on their hair and shoulders. The underprivileged utilized it as blanket to warm themselves in cold winters. Children in olden days used goni for sack-racing in their schools’ sports competition. The bhandari (chef in biryani) used it as apron when handling the deg (large traditional cauldron) on flaming fire. It also gave rise to a Mauritian proverb which goes like that “Goni vid pa kapav dibout” (Empty gunny bag cannot stand on its own).

Goni was also used to store old documents, outdated household items, artefacts and family objects of the previous generation. This old sack, for which nobody had any use anymore, would remain stacked for several years unnoticed in the machaan (mezzanine store) of the house until alerted by the attack of termites. In his novel “The Gunny Sack”, M.G. Vassenji, the Commonwealth Writers Award Winner, immortalizes the last memories of a family coming out of the gunny sack. “Salim Juma, in exile from Tanzania, opens up a gunny sack bequeathed to him by a beloved great-aunt. Inside he discovers the past – his own family’s history and the story of Asian experience in East Africa. Its relics and artefacts bring with them the lives of Salim’s Indian great grandfather, Dhanji Govindji, his extensive family and all their loves and betrayals”.

Goni had once been deep-rooted in the socio-economic fabric of Mauritius. It was not only a commodity prized by the sugar oligarchy, but a companion of all seasons in the routine life of Mauritians of all background. Today, it has been dethroned by plastic bags. The present generation does not seem to have any idea of how goni had once been an integral part of the Mauritian tradition. It is incumbent upon the custodians of our patrimony and museum to preserve the specimen, artefacts, folklore and tradition about goni and retrieve the last vestiges of goni industry. It is regrettable that the ruins of the old aloe factory at Trou-aux-Biches have disappeared under the sway of morcellement and spatial development. The relics could have been spared, not only for tourist attraction, but for reminding the present generation and posterity about the canvas and contours of our socio-economic history.

Discover here story, her passion for the GONI !

Biography

She had the opportunity to live several professional lives already. After graduating from High School at the Lycée Labourdonnais in Mauritius, Anouchka Sooriamoorthy-Desvaux de Marigny left for Paris, where she studied literature and philosophy at La Sorbonne University and got a Ph.D. Interested in journalism, she worked during four years for Air France magazine in Paris. The wanderlust brought her to Dubai, where she teaches philosophy to young adults. In 2018, she embarked on the adventure of entrepreneurship, creating her clothes and accessories brand, Goni. What’s the common point between all these activities? Creativity and the search for beauty.

1- Who are you? 

From my childhood and my adolescence in Mauritius, I keep the sceneries, the scents, and the flavours. My French upbringing and the years I spent in Paris gave me rigour, critical thinking, and the sake of discussion. The past twelve years in Dubai brought me an incredible openness to the world, to difference, and diversity. So, I guess today I’m a mix of all these elements. 

2- Where did you start and where are you now in your life? 

When I decided to pursue studies in literature and philosophy, I didn’t have a career plan; it was a choice from the heart. I was incredibly lucky to always do what I was passionate about: I started in journalism and worked for Le Monde and Air France magazine in Paris; a few years later, I created a French online newspaper in Dubai. Then I felt the desire for transmission, and I decided to answer the call of teaching. All these experiences have been enriching; but at one point, I felt the need to create. Having lived for many years far from Mauritius didn’t weaken the affection for my homeland, quite the opposite. I could still picture the colours of the lagoon, the smell of the freshly cut sugar cane, or the taste of the spices. It’s precisely this imagery that was my inspiration for my project. On a more professional scale, I wanted a new challenge and to get out of my comfort zone: I didn’t go to a business school, therefore doing a business plan, developing a marketing strategy, prospecting for contracts were very new to me. I was on foreign soil, and I loved it! I learned by doing, I listened to advice from my relatives, and I followed common sense. It turned out to be the right move as, after one year and a half, I’m working with more than ten hotels in Mauritius, and I have lots of new projects in preparation. 
 

 3- How did you come up with this idea? 

My company’s name is Goni, which means “jute” in Mauritian Creole. The idea came when I was on holiday in Mauritius. On each trip home, I was looking for some unique and original gifts to bring back for my friends in Paris or Dubai. Finding something authentic that was related to the history of Mauritius and was not made in China was a real dare. The idea of pouches and bags made of jute immediately came up: the goni was used since the beginning of the development of agriculture in Mauritius, especially in the sugar industry. I like its rough texture that I combine with colourful fabrics. Since the creation of the brand, I have developed a wide range of products: pouches, bags, headbands, sunglasses pouches, dresses, shirts, sarongs, assorted soaps and toiletry bags, coasters, and our very last creation: a poetry book in French and English celebrating the beauty of Mauritius. The common point between all these products is the pursuit of authenticity. I like the idea that the traveller goes back to his home country bringing an original souvenir of Mauritius: a goni pouch that will wander the streets of Roma, a coaster with the colours of the ocean that will enlighten a Parisian desk in winter, a poetry book which will find its perfect spot on a London bedside table.     

  4- Tell us more about Goni ADN?

Goni is a handmade and plastic-free brand. Each product is unique and has an original design. In addition, all the products have to be easily transportable, light, not fragile, and useful. All my creations come from my inspiration and imagination. However, I like to work closely with my clients: on the basis of my creations, we start a dialogue which will eventually help me offer tailor-made products that match the identity of the hotel or the company.   


 5- What is your 2020 vision and mission?


2018 was the reflection and implementation year; 2019 was marked by the professionalization of the project and the commercialization of my products in Mauritian hotels. I now have the shoulders to think big: settle new distribution agreements, form partnerships, and, of course, continue to create new products. What I love about this project is that it’s ever evolving: each encounter, each trip brings new ideas, the sky is the limit! I just finished an exciting collaboration with a fragrance composer who created an original home fragrance for Goni: it’s fresh, fruity with a hint of spice, and it can be declined in several versions (home diffuser, soap, potpourri, etc.). The beginning of 2020 was marked by the development of my corporate gifts catalog, which offers one-of-a-kind products for hotels and companies in the hospitality and tourism sector. Each product can be custom-made and tailored to fit the client’s desiderata. I was surprised to discover that most of the corporate gifts are, still today, factory products or products without any identity. An excellent corporate gift should be the elegant final point of the holidays for the traveler; it represents the spirit and the soul of the company. 

I am also working on new products for hotels and companies in the Indian Ocean and in Dubai. I am of course aware that we are globally experiencing an economic slowdown, and that the tourism sector is a high-risk area regarding the covid-19 outbreak. We need to be patient and hopefully things will get better. I am optimistic about a change of mindset: people will be more and more concerned about handmade products and about short distribution circuit.

  6- Where can we get your products?

Goni products are available in Mauritius at Royal Palm Beachcomber, Hilton, Lux* Grand-Gaube, Lux* Belle-Mare, Lux* Le Morne, Veranda hotels, Heritage Awali, Heritage Telfair. Blue Penny Museum shop. In Tahiti, French Polynesia, Goni products are also available in two high-end concept stores: Rose Corail and Blue Flamingo. 

Thank you to visit and like her facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/GoniBrand/

 

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THE ROAD TO RECOVERY AN ANALYSIS BY THE FOUNDER OF HOSPITALITY.MU 0 454

Mauritius Hospitality, Travel & Tourism sector is in for a hard hit and a long long road to recovery! Just like Egypt’s Tourism has recently shown the World how hard it is to overcome unprecedented challenges that comes with such destructive and disruptive event such as their Arab Spring of 2011. Now the World has woken up to this “Global Plandemic Covid 19” event which I qualify of the worst tourists (local & international) attack on all the living souls and businesses on this planet which depends on tourism to survive. This catastrophique event will create the same adverse effects if not worst to all Hospitality, Travel and Tourism destination alike. No one will be spared here! Not Egypt nor our tiny travel destination that his Mauritius.

According to the WTTC: “Over the coming months, it will be crucial to call upon governments all over the world to ensure the survival of travel and tourism, which currently has up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk globally, with up to 5.9 million at risk in the U.S.A. alone,” Gloria Guevara, WTTC president/CEO, said in an official release.

Source – https://www.hotelmanagement.net/own/wttc-travel-tourism-critical-to-economic-recovery

Reading the above article and after watching the documentary below about Egypt long hard road to recovery post Arab Spring from it’s once glorious days of tourism with 15M annual visitors, I predict that we will all have to face in the coming months and I would even argue years the same situation unfortunately. People are talking this December all will get back to normal I am not that optimistic and would argue we must reflect and copy the attitude, laws and mindset of the Egyptians GVT, People about regaining their glorious days of Tourism.

See video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gp7SkhwgfY

The Lessons to learn and take from Egypt Tourism post Crisis 2011

Source – https://egyptindependent.com/fifteen-million-tourists-to-visit-egypt-in-2020-wto-economic-advisor/

Let’s breaks down the immediate effects from such terrorists attacks travel ban on Egypt’s Hospitality, Travel & Tourism post Arab Spring of 2011 and their solutions as a nation which lead to the road to recovery 5 to 10 years on leading to 2020 with the hopeful signs of them regaining their 15M annual tourists, but Covid 19 happened to halt their amazing hard work to recovery.

It took them close to 9 years to finally get back to 15M visitors and the WTO Economic Advisor forecasted just that in Jan 2020, a month before this Global Pandemic was announced and crumbled everyone hard efforts in regaining travellers trust and Tourism business momentum of getting ahead.

Firstly, Egypt has been world the leader in Tourism for decades and once had 15M tourists back in 2011 prior the Arab Spring which shock its Tourism and Travel industry. By 2016, 5 years after the terrorist attacks which last less than a month, they could only manage to get 5M annual visitors which represents a massive 70% drop. The entire nation felt such a dramatic tourism decline and hit on their businesses which all depended on Tourism and directly affected their daily livelihood, their income which was severely reflected in their national GDP. Everyone living in the Capital, cities and villages around felt this for the past 5 years and even now 9 years on which they describe in the video above. They all keeps talking and remembering the good old days prior this travel shock which took down their first economic pillar. Lesson #1.

Secondly, all had to work very very hard collectively to make their most important assets which is their tourism image from the World famous tourism sites of the Pyramids to their Nile River down to the smallest tourist floating taxis. All the Egyptians who work on this World famous river said that they all cleaned it daily. A sailer was saying that not even one plastic bottle was left floating around. They all respected her (Nile and Egypt) and knew how she was precious for their daily lives and to make sure tourists was impressed with the cleanliness of the Nile river and the safety of Egypt was paramount to their recovery plan to 15M annual visitors. Lesson #2.

Lastly, all Egyptians knew that the travellers who travelled very far to come meet and discover this biblical river had at heart the wealth of their country. This river is the life and blood of all the cities and villagers who needed her water foremost and all used her routes. The lesson we must all learn and all remember here, is they all adopted the collective attitude to make Egypt clean and safe but most importantly they all worked together to make sure that the rare tourists were treated so well that they would come back the following year or sell the destination to their friends and family. Lesson #3.

These are the most important lessons we must all adopt post Covid 19 is to respect our island and to keep it clean everywhere that includes inside everyone gardens, neighbours, river, beaches and mountains. All Mauritians must adopt such an attitude if we want to win this together. If Egypt, one of the most visited destination and country in the World has done it by restructuring its laws on pollution, on hotel pricing and they managed to change their population mindset to make it safer and rebuild their image post the Arab Spring war which they finally were going to overcome as they were set to regain 15M tourists, but this Covid-19 halted their hopeful forecasted figures this 2020.

Source – https://www.ceicdata.com/en/blog/egypt-tourism-2016

Now this is what the World and Mauritius Hospitality, Travel & Tourism is about to experience not for a few months but for a few long years min 3 to 9 years before we get back to the same numbers we had previously recorded and ever dreamed of reaching. And the precious lessons we must all adopt now.

The Opportunities

With time of crisis, there is a lot of opportunities for those is favour to revise their Hospitality, Travel & Tourism offers but most importantly will help those who are smart enough to rework their product offering and a total restructuring of their entire operations to make it more efficient and sustainable, with the ability to adapt to change fast and to make their product offerings reachable and convertable with an added value such as competitive pricing and but most importantly reverse their entire marketing strategies and target markets.

Local Project for Mauritius – www.IleMaurice.Voyage (Live Site) For sale or lease.

Mauritius.cn.com (Chinese Market also for sale or lease.) first to be traveling out of china after this quarantine is over +1B travellers the world largest travel market.

Global OTA based on a Market Sharing Economic Model BookAirtickets.Flights | BookBusinessClass.Flights & BookFirstClass.Flights Inviting all Airlines to invest in these Global OTA Booking Model.

Project Funding here – https://www.smergers.com/business/travel-portal-investment-opportunity-in-mauritius/uyfoo/

Remember these companies were all created post crisis 2008 | UBER | AIRBNB & more – https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/startups-great-recession

The World is on a reset so should your business strategies, model and plans.

POST – COVID 19 & POST LOCK DOWN

Source – https://www.phocuswire.com/coronavirus-global-hotel-strategy-part-1

From what I have studied (Bachelor of Commerce in Travel & Tourism Entrepreneurship Degree from Curtin 2007) and worked for from all my work experiences, travels and knowledge during all my life. We are about to all be tested and pushed to the limit of our survival skills, creativity and passion to succeed. In crisis like these, there is always room for greater opportunities for all. Not only the hotels but everyone involved in this Hospitality, Travel & Tourism industry, the lifeblood of World-wide businesses.

Unless, we revise immediately our “Tourism Offer” with a very attractive “Destination Package and Pricing Strategy” and open our Resorts, Hotels to all travellers right away after the lockdown with a well thought targeted global digital marketing campaign for each countries just like www.IleMaurice.Voyage (For Sale or For Lease) we are heading for the greatness recession in Mauritius, which will affect us all from the CEO to the Taxi Driver.

I predict that we will have a 80% to 90% drop for the next 6 to 24 months and that will remain as this percentage for minium 3 to 5 years before we get back to 1.2M tourists per year we have only managed to get for the past 10 years. A very mediocre result we must not be proud of and very far from the 2M a year tourism plan promised by the Government before Covid 19.

In order to remain competitive regionally and internationally and beat competitors who will try tap in this low traveller market ahead of us all. Hotels and airlines must drop and adjust their pricing strategy for the next couple of years to match the local rates in order to stand a chance to keep their business afloat and drive their most loyal clients and have them returning to Mauritius this December and the following year. The sole objective is to retain our 1.2M tourists the +100K a month that helped Mauritius and all Mauritians survived before this global economic collapse.

The Losers …

will be the ones who will be too late to adopt a fast change for innovation and who will adopt a “Wait and See” plan. Most of those will be left behind and might end up down the bankruptcy road. Many businesses will drop their heavy resources such as staffs, suppliers and will of course adopt a “Save the Sinking Ship” short term solution. They must absolutely work on their mid to long term plans.

The Winners …

will be the smart hotels and tourism organisation to implement a win-win traveller hotel airline offer. Those who want to jump on this opportunity will have to adopt such a “Competitive Pricing Strategy” to stay afloat at least until things around the World gets back to normal.

In Conclusion …

Profits will become last of their worries.

Break even will be the new benchmark as bankruptcy will be their failure with the end of their existence and careers.

Clients Retention, Satisfaction and Loyalty will become their priority.

Expect amazing value travel deals this 2020/2021 with amazing airlines, hotels apply this strategy globally!

Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me to work on your Digital Marketing Strategy this 2020/2021 or should wish to invest in any our premium domains and projects which all are for sale or seeking investors for serious JV.

Regards,

Sebastien Staub – Founder & Editor

HOSPITALITY.MU – 1st Position of Google For Hospitality Mauritius

HOMES.MU – 1st Page of Google For Homes Mauritius & Real Estate Mauritius and more…

SMARTMEDIA.AGENCY – 1st Page of Google for Branding Agency Mauritius & VR Marketing Mauritius

#Mauritius #Globalbusiness #Travel #Tourism #Hospitality #Postc19 #Strategy

SUN RESORTS’​ COVID-19 UPDATE – FRANCOIS EYNAUD GROUP CEO 0 254

We are facing an unprecedented situation since COVID-19 has been declared a worldwide pandemic. Most of the countries around the world have opted for a lockdown to stop the virus.

In Mauritius, confinement measures have been extended to the 4th of May 2020.

As a consequence, we at Sun Limited have temporarily suspended all our operations in our 7 properties, namely Long Beach, Sugar Beach, La Pirogue, Ambre and Ile aux Cerfs in Mauritius and Kanuhura in the Maldives, as well as our branded hotels Four Seasons Resorts Mauritius at Anahita and Shangri- La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa.

We have taken all precautions to make sure that our associates are staying safely at home. As a family, we contact them regularly to ensure that they lack nothing.

We ensured that every single guest from our resorts reached home safely.

We are already missing them all!

As per our plan, we have decided to maintain the last phase of renovation for Sugar Beach as soon as the lockdown will be ended. Our guests will enjoy a great new experience as from October with a fully renovated hotel.

For Long Beach, La Pirogue, Ambre, and Kanuhura, bookings are open and we hope to welcome back our guests as soon as the borders reopen.

 Our reservation teams are working from home and are available for any help in planning your next holidays.

To facilitate any decision, we have decided to set up flexible policies. Until further notice, for all new bookings done through our website or reservation centre, modification, change or even cancellation up to the day prior to arrival without any cancellation fees will be possible.

If bookings are done via online travel agencies, tour operators, travel agents or any third parties, their respective cancellation/refund policies will be applicable.

Stay safe! We are looking forward to welcoming you back soon.

François Eynaud

CEO of Sun Ltd