Former Irish Miss World Rosanna Davison ignores Mauritius boycott call and plans family holiday in beauty spot
Former Miss World Rosanna Davison has said her family will return to the island of Mauritius this year -- despite calls to boycott the island's tourist industry after the killing of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey. The Irish model said she would not give in to pressure to boycott the island, having developed a long-time affinity with her family's annual holiday destination.
"I completely understand why her family, friends and relatives will have developed a forever-tainted view of Mauritius and it's hard to even put into words how devastated I am for both families."
But she added: "My sympathies also extend to the majority of good, honest and hard-working people living on the island who must weather the damaging consequences. We will be returning to the island this Christmas and New Year."
Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has called for a boycott of the nation, while criticising the authorities in Mauritius for how they've handled the murder investigation. And a travel agent in Donegal is no longer selling holidays to the destination.
Dublin model Rosanna first visited Mauritius with her family in 1995.
"I quickly fell in love with the island, its people and their colourful, diverse culture, in which people from Hindu, Creole, Chinese, Muslim and European backgrounds peacefully co-exist.
"We have returned every single year since then to Le Saint Geran Hotel on the east coast and I have definitely developed a deep emotional attachment with the island, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
"One of the most prominent reasons for our return every year is the genuinely friendly and open Mauritian people."
Musician Chris De Burgh, Rosanna and her family were holidaying on the Indian Ocean island when the murder hit headlines across the world.
"The island was utterly shocked and devastated. Various members of the hotel staff, knowing we're Irish, expressed their absolute shock and grief at the news. They found the murder equally as horrific and difficult to process.
"The manager of our hotel, Andrew Milton, summed up the mood, saying: 'That just doesn't happen here.'"