A lone fisherman manoeuvres his small boat along the east coast of Mauritius, near Ile aux Cerfs. File picture: Reuters

Port Louis - Mauritius' tourism revenues are seen rising 8 percent this year, after a jump in 2015 that was driven by higher visitor numbers, the country's statistics office said on Friday.

Tourism is a valuable source of foreign exchange for the Indian Ocean island, known for its luxury spas and beaches but it has found long-haul visitors from Europe harder to attract since the global financial crisis.

Mauritius has since then stepped up efforts to woo Chinese tourists to make up the shortfall.

The statistics agency said it expected tourism revenue to climb to 54 billion rupees ($1.51 billion) in 2016, more than an earlier forecast of 52 billion rupees. Last year tourism earnings were calculated at 50 billion rupees.

It forecast visitor arrivals to rise 6.8 percent this year to 1.23 million from 1.15 million in 2015.

The statistics office said the room occupancy rate rose to 70 percent last year from 65 percent in 2014. ($1 = 35.8000 Mauritius rupees)