Agent praises trade for support after Mauritius fire

Travel agent Anthony Goord has praised the travel industry for its support after he was evacuated from a luxury hotel devastated by fire in Mauritius.

Goord, a partner of Peter Goord Travel in Plymouth, was among 400 hotel guests moved to sister hotels after the blaze took hold at the Lux Belle Mare hotel on Saturday.

He received hundreds of messages from tour operator and travel agency owners offering help after posting about his plight on Facebook.
Speaking from the Lux Grand Baie hotel in Mauritius, he said: “There were people I’d not spoken to for years getting in touch. They all said they’d help and they genuinely meant it. It makes you feel quite humble when you get that response.”

Goord, who has been an agent for 38 years, thanked hotel staff for ensuring guests were looked after and for reuniting him and wife Sue with their belongings, including passports, so they can fly home from their 12-night holiday as planned this week.

Most of their clothes have been ruined, but he said: “We are safe and live to tell the tale. When I get back I will support Lux as much as I can as an agency. I came here to see what it was like and now I can say what they did for me. The staff have been brilliant.”

The couple were alerted to the fire when they were on the beach.

Goord recalled: “It was surreal. We saw flames on the reception roof, but then the wind changed and all of a sudden blew the fire across the thatched roof.

“We had a top floor room and by the time I realised I should be going to my room to get our passports, it was too late. It was only later on I thought, ‘That was close’.”

It is understood hotel staff have been relocated to sister properties.

“The staff were watching the fire and I was thinking, ‘This is their livelihood’,” added Goord.

In a statement, Lux Hotels said Lux Belle Mare would be closed until further notice to undergo renovations. A spokesman said: “Despite the extent of damages, no injury was recorded and all of the hotel’s guests and personnel were safely evacuated. The safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members remain our utmost priority.”

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