Rabat – Morocco is close to achieve its goal of receiving 20 million tourists by 2020, states Oxford Business Group (OBG) in a recent report relayed by the Maghreb Press Agency (MAP).
Despite a difficult regional situation, the tourism sector in Morocco performed well in early 2017, the OBG said, recalling that the Kingdom welcomed around 3 million tourists during the first four months of the year. This represents an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
These good results concern almost all the segments, said the British firm in its report relayed by MAP, stressing that the Moroccan tourism industry progressed in a difficult regional situation marked by troubles affecting the MENA region.
Cited by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), the Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy, Mohamed Sajid, said that “the sector is expected to grow by 5.5 percent year-on-year in 2017 with 10.9 million tourists.” Meanwhile, revenues, are expected to reach 5.8 billion euros compared to 5.7 billion in 2016.
For the OBG, Morocco’s tourism industry has “begun to reap the fruits of efforts to conquer new strategic markets, helping the country to boost the number of visitors and thus to change the regional trend.”
Morocco’s new strategy of capitalizing on new tourist markets, mainly asian ones, has, in fact, born fruit. The British firm foresees the arrival of 100,000 Chinese tourist to Morocco, compared to only 42,000 in 2016.
The OBG lauded Morocco’s decision to abolish visas for Chinese nationals, which has allowed Morocco to take advantage of this leading market.
The Moroccan National Tourist Board (ONMT) has sealed partnerships with three strategic international airlines, namely Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Air France. The objective is to increase the number of scheduled flights connecting Chinese cities to the most popular Moroccan tourist destinations, the report said.
A Chinese delegation also visited Morocco last June to assess the tourism potential of the country. Representatives of travel agencies based in Beijing, Shanghai and Canton, as well as the media, visited several Moroccan cities, including Marrakech, Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat and Fez.