New statistics show a significant increase of Moroccan visitors who have chosen Turkey as their vacation destination over the three past three years.
The statistics from the Turkish Tourism Portal show a notable increase in the number of Moroccan visitors in Turkey over the last three years.
Moroccan visitors to Turkey have increased by 32.70% in the period of 2019-2018.
The number of visitors increased from 114,155 visitors in 2017 to 234,264 tourists in 2019.
Othman Cherif Alami, Moroccan travel agency Atlas Voyage, estimated that Moroccan travellers spent around MAD 6 billion ($600 million) during their vacations in Turkey.
The number represents 30% of the total MAD 21 billion Moroccans spent on holidays in the same year.
The CEO of the agency indicates that Turkey remains among the most popular destinations for Moroccans, after France and Spain.
The new statistics suggest that the Turkish new regulation on residence permits do not affect Moroccans’ plans to visit the country.
Last year, the Turkish General Directorate of Migration Management announced that the country will no longer renew one-year residence permits for Moroccans holidaymakers.
The new law will only allow renewing the residence permit for tourism in 2020. Moroccans who would like to stay in Turkey for work would have to apply for a different type of permit.
A new report from Morocco’s National Confederation of Tourism (CNT) indicates that upper-middle-class Moroccans prefer to take their vacations abroad for better quality holidays at the same price.
“The trend is caused by growing competition from near and far destinations such as Spain, Turkey, and even Asia,” CNT’s vice president, Fouzi Zemrani said last year.
Like Alami, Zemrani also described Turkey as one of the most popular 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,” the CNT official said.
While political bonds between Morocco and Turkey are stable, business cooperation under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) becomes a challenging issue in the Rabat-Ankara ties.
Morocco’s government has been complaining about the negative outcomes caused by the Morocco-Turkey FTA, especially in the textiles.
Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy said that the sector caused Morocco’s economy to lose 44,000 job opportunities in 2017.
The official also criticized the Turkish discount chain, BIM, for not selling Moroccan products. The company, however, shared a statement yesterday, emphasizing that the discount chain in Morocco buys 85% of its products from Morocco and Turkish products only represent 15% of the store’s stock.