Chinese tourists are known for spending big on their holidays abroad and Morocco, like many other countries with tourism-driven economies, wants a piece of the pie. Last year Chinese tourists spent a whopping 165 billion dollars on their foreign travels, according to media reports.
China has also been the world’s fastest-growing source for tourists over the past ten years, and Haddad wants to bolster the kingdom’s efforts to attract tourists from such a huge market.
The Minister told the French-speaking news website that the first step into achieving that goal is to launch indirect flights between Morocco and China, adding that negotiations in this regard are underway between Royal Air Maroc and China Airlines, China’s flag carrier.
“We intend to implement partnerships between RAM and Qatar Airways to avoid exhausting journey of twenty hours by sharing routes with stops in Dubai and elsewhere,” Haddad said.
To tap into the surging wave of Chinese tourists, Haddad said that the Tourism Ministry along with the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) will provide documents and tourist guides in Mandarin for better communication with the Chinese public.
Haddad said his department will also work on strengthening the Moroccan presence at tourism fairs in Shanghai and Beijing. Plans also include injecting additional funding and increase human resources at the ONMT office in the Chinese capital.
Morocco lags behind nearby countries in terms of attracting tourists from China.
For example, Spain received 288,000 visitors from China last year, while France received over 1.2 million Chinese tourists that year.
Announcing results for tourism in general on the occasion of the celebration of the World Tourism Day on September 27th, Haddad said that Moroccan tourism has showed “flexibility” despite a “disturbed” global economy and an “unstable” regional geopolitical context.
Photo credit: Melanie Stetson Freeman/ The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images
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