Rabat - 11,541 Russian tourists visited Agadir at the end of June 2016, against 3,034 only during the same period of last year, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Rabat – 11,541 Russian tourists visited Agadir at the end of June 2016, against 3,034 only during the same period of last year, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
The increase is line with the strategy of Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT), which seeks to attract 800,000 Russian, Scandinavian, Turkish, German and Chinese tourists by 2020.
The French are by far the largest group of tourists who visit Morocco, followed by Germans, despite the significant decline this year.
The arrivals of Russian tourists in Agadir registered a record increase of 280.39% during the first half of 2016, according to the Regional Council of Tourism (CRT).
Their number at the end of June 2016 reached 11,541, against 3,034 in the same period of 2015, according to statistics recently published by the CRT.
In an interview with Morocco World News, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad, said the increase in Russian tourists arrivals is the result of the efforts his department has been making over the past five years to diversify Morocco’s markets.
“Russian market is a strategic emergent market for us. His Majesty’s visit to Russia this year has opened doors and vistas for us. We seized the opportunity to carry out communication actions, partnerships with travel operators and charter companies,” Haddad said.
The Moroccan official said that Marrakech is also becoming an attractive destination for Russian tourists.
“We focused on Agadir but Marrakech is also interesting for some segments of the Russian market.”
The season was saved by domestic tourists who occupy the first position in arrivals in hotel establishments classified in Agadir in the first semester of 2016 with a total of 123,417 tourists, against 127,503 tourists during the same period in 2015.
Despite a decrease of 20.87%, the French market comes in second position in terms of tourist arrivals, with 56,794 tourists against 71,737 during the same period in 2015.
The German market also posted a decline of 6.48 percent, with 40,793 tourists against 43 621 tourists during the same period in 2015, according to the same source.
However, the Scandinavian market has increased significantly. Arrivals of Norwegian tourists increased 16.20 percent, Danish tourists 20.53 percent and Swedish tourists 1.51 percent.
In terms of tourist accommodation units, classified 4 star hotels come in first place with 118,836 tourists, followed by 5 star hotels (86,482 visitors) and tourist villages (72 081).