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Morocco looks for new tourist sources in Russia and China

Staff Writer | October 21, 2016
Morocco is turning to new markets like Russia and China as tourist sources, after visitor numbers from traditional issuer countries dwindled, says a report by the Oxford Business Group (OBG).
Morocco tourists
Tourism in Africa   A report by the Oxford Business Group
Diversification will play a key role in meeting the targets of Morocco’s tourism development strategy Vision 2020, whose goal is to see 20 million tourists and EUR 12.8 billion in revenue per year by the end of the decade, according to the OBG’s latest study.

Tourism revenues fell 1.4% last year from the year before, to EUR 5.4 billion, and the country welcomed over 10 million tourists, the British consulting firm reported. The figures show the task that lies ahead for the country before achieving its goals.

Russian tourists, for instance, spent no more than EUR 2.6 million in Morocco last year, but the Ministry of Tourism regards Russia as a priority source more and more, the OGB says.

In 2015, some 40,000 Russians travelled to Morocco, much less than France’s 3.3 million, Spain’s 2.1 million and Germany’s 615,000, but the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) hopes to take in 800,000 Russians by 2020.

To support the Tourism Ministry’s efforts, the national carrier Royal Air Maroc created a route between Moscow and the Agadir beach resort, in Southern Morocco, in quarter two this year; it had launched non-stop Moscow-Casablanca flights in 2011, the OBG adds.

Morocco is also working on promotion, says the OBG. Last spring, Moroccan tourism authorities invited 30 media outlets and 400 travel agencies from Russia to visit Agadir, Marrakech and Casablanca, in a bid to advertise its tourist attractions.