London – Morocco’s tourism industry looks set to benefit as European travellers shun traditional holiday destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey in the wake of global terrorism and security fears.
Sojern, a San Francisco based travel marketing company which analyses internet searches and bookings, revealed in its Q2 Global Travel Insights Report that holiday-makers are showing a 44% increased interest in Morocco for their summer holiday this year.
Recent atrocities in Istanbul and elsewhere have resulted in visitor numbers to Turkey plummeting to approximately half of last year’s figure whilst Egyptian hotels and travel companies are on their knees after a spate of airline disasters put tourists off flying to former favourites such as Sharm el-Sheik.
Although Morocco’s Tourism Observatory has recorded overall trips to the country being down by just over 5% this year, the number of British visitors actually increased by the same percentage and German arrivals shot up by 8%.
Traditionally, France has been the greatest source of holidaymakers to the kingdom but traffic from there has dropped by 7%. This shortfall could be replaced by Russian tourists, however, as Morocco actively seeks to woo them away from places such as Turkey which is currently subject to a travel restriction imposed by the Russian government on its citizens.
Russell Higham is a freelance journalist based in Brighton, England who has also lived in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. He writes for a diverse range of international publications on topics ranging from travel, culture and lifestyle to current affairs, international politics and armed conflict. Twitter: rkhigham