Morocco’s Tourism Industry’s Future Literally up in the Air

When it comes to tourism, the beautiful North African nation of Morocco has been in a bit of a slump recently. However, that’s all set to change in the near future.

The nation is expecting tourist dollars in 2012 to at least equal last year’s totals as it’s focusing on attracting visitors from the Middle East and Eastern European nations to make up for any drop in Western European tourism.

Morocco is depending on attracting more visitors since tourism is the country’s largest source of foreign currency. It’s also the second biggest employer in the land and contributes greatly to the gross domestic product (GDP). There are 400,000 tourism-related jobs in the country and the industry accounts for approximately 10% of Morocco’s GDP.

Morocco’s-Tourism-Industry’s

(Image by jcherfas)

 The nation’s tourism industry is hoping to strike a deal with one of the major airlines from the Gulf Arab region to help pick things up. But while the actual number of tourists may be in decline, the money they’re spending while on vacation in Morocco has remained at a level pace. In fact, the number of visitors and the time they spent in the country fell in 2011 when compared to 2010, but the amount of money they spent rose by 4%t.

The government feels 2012 will probably equal 2011 when it comes to tourist income or it might even rise a little bit more. A third of all visitors to Morocco come from Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and the Benelux nations. It’s estimated that 70% of visitors explore the land independently instead of with tour companies and most of them prefer to lodge in five-star hotels.

In 2012, Morocco will be focusing its tourism promotions on countries such as Slovakia, Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. The Moroccan government says these Eastern European nations are emerging as prime tourist markets because the purchasing power is rising in them and more and more people from there are now traveling abroad when taking vacations.

Ever since 2010, the Morocco’s major airline, Royal Air Maroc, has added more direct routes and flights to Poland and Russia. The airline is now planning to add flights on a regular basis to Prague, Bratislava, St Petersburg, and Warsaw and hopes to do the same to the Scandinavian countries, as they used to be a big tourist market for Morocco and they hope to revive it.

Authorities are hoping to establish flights by one of the major Gulf Arab airlines that will see visitors land in cities such as Agadir and Marrakesh instead of just in Casablanca. The government is depending on striking a deal with another airline because Royal Air Maroc doesn’t have a big enough fleet of planes to handle it all alone.

It’s estimated that Morocco will be able to triple its tourism income by the year 2020 if a deal can be struck with one of these foreign airlines. The government is also confident that once tourists explore the fascinating attractions in Morocco there will be many repeat visitors.
Read more at http://www.thetravelerszone.com/travel-destinations/moroccos-tourism-industrys-future/

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