Moscow. March 30. Morocco expects to attract more tourists from Russia, China and West Africa amid political instability in Tunisia and Egypt, deterring travellers from visiting these countries.
“The Russian market offers us great opportunities, said the Minister of tourism of Morocco, lahcen Haddad in an interview with Bloomberg. – We want to increase the flow of Russian tourists to 400% in three years – from 40 thousand to 200 thousand per year”.
The influx of travelers from France, which is Morocco’s biggest tourist market, declined last year by seven percent.
The number of tourists from Belgium, Italy and Spain also decreased in 2015 from Britain and the United States – has increased, said Haddad.
In General, the flow of tourists in Morocco has decreased in the past year by one percent, the revenue of the tourism sector decreased by 1.3% compared with 2014 year – on-year to 59.3 billion dirhams ($6.1 billion).
“Tourists seem not to distinguish Morocco, for example, from Tunisia or Egypt, said Haddad. – Meanwhile, Morocco is a very safe country, but we need to do more to bring it up to tourists.”
According to the Minister, the Moroccan authorities are negotiating with several airlines, including Aeroflot and Royal Air Maroc, about the opening of new routes from Moscow and St Petersburg to Marrakech and Agadir.
In 2014, the country announced plans to introduce direct flights from China to Morocco, but they are still not implemented.
Tourism is the second largest sector of Morocco’s economy after agriculture, it accounts for about ten percent of the country’s economy, the total amount which is 105 billion dollars.