Rabat – Morocco is expecting the number of Chinese tourist arrivals to reach “at least 500,000” by 2020, against the 100,000 tourists recorded in 2017, said Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy Mohamed Sajid.
During a joint press conference on Thursday with Song Yu, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Tourism Cities (WTCF), Sajid revealed that the two countries are seeking to enhance tourism cooperation. The comments were made at a Morocco-China tourism forum in Casablanca.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Morocco is planning to create a direct air link with China by 2020 to accommodate more tourists from that country; a market which remains “largely under-exploited.”
“We must operate all the vectors of growth and the air will be one of our main priority. The creation of a direct line is under study by the National Office of Tourism,” said the minister as quoted by Medias24.
“Without being pretentious, we should very easily reach 500,000 visitors by 2020,” he indicated.
Though the minister is not sure whether this project will be finalized by 2019 or 2020, he affirms that it will be “done quickly,” especially considering that the “Ministry has initiated contacts with Chinese airlines that are willing to accompany and take advantage of the current explosion of this emerging market in Morocco.”
Sajid also revealed that the National Office of Tourism will strengthen its presence at its Beijing office. “Because with this enormous potential, we can no longer be satisfied with only having two employees already present in the office,” he said.
In June 2016, Morocco lifted pre-travel visa requirement for Chinese nationals wishing to enter Morocco.
In 2017, the number of Chinese tourists in Morocco increased by 760 percent, evidence of the broadening global pull of Morocco’s tourism sector.
According to Interbank Payment Center, Chinese tourists had the highest per capita spending of all foreign tourists in Morocco in 2017.