Morocco Reaps Benefits of Visa Exemption for Chinese Tourists

One year after it lifted visa requirements for Chinese nationals, Morocco is steadily tapping into the Chinese tourist market with arrivals by July 2017 rising to 50,000 compared to 10,000 in the whole year of 2015.

Soon after the visa exemption decision was taken during King Mohammed VI’s visit to Beijing, the number of Chinese arrivals in Morocco grew 300% in the last quarter of 2016, standing at 40,000 tourists attracted mainly to the cities of Casablanca, Fez and Ouarzazate.

As it seeks to diversify its tourist emitting markets, Morocco sees enormous opportunities in the Chinese market, which has 130 million tourists traveling abroad annually and spending generously.

Morocco therefore is set to attract more tourists from China to reach 100,000 visitors and one million Chinese tourists in ten years.

Meeting this goal hinges on preparing Moroccan tourist professionals to be up to the expectations of Chinese tourists. In this respect, training tourist guides and tourist professionals at hotels and main attraction facilities to speak Mandarin is a necessary measure.

A direct airlink between Morocco and China would further encourage Chinese tourists to visit the North African country.

So far, Morocco tried to improve its connectivity with China through establishing partnerships with three key international airlines – Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Air France – with a view to increasing the number of regular flights connecting Chinese cities with Morocco’s prime tourist destinations.

Last January, Morocco won the prize of “Best Potential Destination 2016” awarded by the Global Times Forum, an annual event held in Beijing by the leading English-speaking media outlet in China, the Global Times.

The Prize is awarded every year to the best destination on the basis of three criteria: visa procedure, tourist attraction rate and tourist satisfaction indicators.

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