Two Israeli airlines expressed eagerness to launch direct flights between Morocco and Israel.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui has said the country expects the number of Israeli tourists to go from 15,000 per year to 200,000.
Alaoui made her remarks in an interview with Israeli channel KAN 11, noting that Israelis who wish to come to Morocco can have a visa upon arrival.
Throughout her interview, the Moroccan minister sounded upbeat about Morocco’s prospects as a travel destination for Israeli tourists and travel and adventure-loving people in general.
Referring to Morocco’s recent efforts to upgrade its tourism industry, she said, “The idea of building something industrial is to ease the travel, but also the arrivals.”
Alaoui’s optimistic forecast about Israeli tourism in Morocco comes amid the resumption of diplomatic ties between Morocco and Israel.
On December 10, US President Donald Trump announced that the “normalization” of relations between the two countries.
Trump tweeted that two “great friends” of the US agreed to establish full diplomatic ties, describing the move as a “massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”
Alaoui’s declaration is also in line with Morocco’s ongoing efforts to revive a sector that suffered the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 caused Morocco’s tourism sector to lose MAD 18.2 billion ($2 billion) in the first seven months of 2020.
Alaoui also promoted tourism in the Western Sahara region, namely the coastal city of Dakhla, noting that tourists in the region can enjoy water sports such as surfing and kitesurfing.
“We have a lot of projects under study, and they will be launched in the coming weeks or months,” she added.
On the business and investment front, the Moroccan official presented Morocco as a go-to destination for investors looking for new opportunities. The private sector in Morocco has shown “a real appetite” of learning about new markets and experiences, she noted.
Alaoui’s invitation of Israeli tourists to Morocco follows Israeli airlines El Al and Israir’s announcement of its plans to launch direct flights between Israel and Morocco.
El Al said it “will begin operational preparations for operating direct flights to Casablanca, subject to obtaining all the necessary approvals from the various authorities,”
According to reports in the Israeli press, Israel’s flag carrier considers flights to and from Morocco to “be very popular among Israeli clientele.”