Foreign direct investment in Mauritius fell 29 percent to 7.21 billion rupees ($200 million) in the nine months to September, official data showed on Tuesday.

A total of 6.09 billion rupees, or more than 84 percent, went into real estate, the central bank said. FDI in the accommodation and food service sector fell sharply to 779 million rupees from 3.26 billion a year ago.

"The tough international context has weighed on foreign direct investment," said Ken Poonoosamy, managing director of the state-run Board of Investment which is responsible for encouraging flows into Mauritius.

"But there are some projects in the pipeline and we hope that investments would pick up in the last quarter," he told Reuters.

Famed for its white sand beaches and luxury spas, the Indian Ocean island is diversifying away from sugar, textiles and tourism into offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism.

France was the biggest source of investment, with 2.61 billion rupees, the central bank said.