The trend is due to cheaper holidays, often with higher-quality services, being more readily available outside Morocco.
Rabat – According to a statement from Morocco’s National Confederation of Tourism (CNT), upper-middle-class Moroccans are going abroad for vacation, as they can find better quality holidays abroad for the same price.
Every year, the number of Moroccans leaving for the summer increases, and the trend is having a negative impact on the balance of the tourism industry in Morocco, says CNT.
“The trend is caused by growing competition from near and far destinations such as Spain, Turkey, and even Asia,” says the vice president of CNT, Fouzi Zemrani.
He noted that while many Moroccans look to destinations at home like Agadir, Taghazout, and Marrakech, where overnight stays cost anywhere between MAD 500-2000, some foreign destinations are offering the same experience for less money, and often with a better quality of service.
Which countries are the biggest competitors for national tourism?
Zemrani listed Turkey as one of the biggest tourist destinations for Moroccans, thanks to visa-free travel and low costs.
“Between the absence of a visa and only 4 hours by plane, this country that has a hard time has an incredible rating all year round, especially since it offers all-inclusive packages, for Moroccans to discover a country they often see in Turkish soap operas,” said the CNT representative.
“Between affordable prices, cleanliness, freedom, crafts … Turkey really has everything to please tourists and is becoming a real competitor for our national tourism,” says Zemrani, adding that Morocco should be inspired by Turkey’s high tourist return rate.
He also named Spain as one of the biggest tourist destinations for Moroccans, despite the visa requirements.
“As a receiving market for foreign tourists, Morocco has transformed itself into a powerful market that is not negligible, however, there is even talk of nearly a million Moroccans traveling abroad,” reiterated the vice president.
“The first to have understood this evolution are the Spaniards who, starting from April, organize Eductours all over Morocco. Their tour operators come and offer their products (hotel rooms, apartments …) to Moroccan travel agents.”
“In addition, representatives of several Spanish hotel chains in Morocco are also approaching local operators to send them customers, especially to the Costa Del Sol.”
Moroccans are eager to jump on the offers, where it “costs around MAD 1,000 for stays of 7 to 15 days in furnished accommodation for at least 4 people located in residences with swimming pool and even a concierge.” Prices that are clearly very competitive with a stay in Marrakech, where a single night can cost that much, as mentioned above.
“To top it off, the proximity of supermarkets and cheap food products combined with affordable entertainment means that Moroccan holidaymakers can spend a holiday for a very decent budget,” he elaborated.
“Thanks to this, some small towns of Costa Del Sol like Fuengirola are becoming predominantly Moroccan resorts with a dedicated offer of halal products and even mosques.”
“Apart from affordable prices, for the upper-middle class, there is also more freedom at these destinations. For example, tourists can be assured that no one will look awry at their wife or daughter, whether in bikini or burkini,” he points out.