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

Tourist arrivals in Mauritius fell 0.7 percent in October from a year earlier as visitor numbers from the Indian Ocean island's main market France fell, official data showed on Friday.

Visitors from Europe, which accounts for about two-thirds of arrivals, dropped 9.3 percent to 53,690. Of these, arrivals from France fell 18.1 percent to 22,756, Statistics Mauritius said.

Tourism, a cornerstone of the Indian Ocean island's $10 billion economy, has been forecast to account for 7.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, down from 8.4 percent last year.

Arrivals have fallen due to the impact of the global economic slowdown and continued worries about the euro zone crisis that have led many on the continent to postpone or cancel holidays. - Reuters