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Moroccan Tourism Remains Resilient Despite Terrorism Threat

Source : | 7 July 2016 |  Economy | 303 views

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By Bryn Miller

Minister of Tourism Lachen Haddad stated on Tuesday that Moroccan tourism remains “steadfast and resistant” in the wake of international and regional unrest.

Minister Haddad told Morocco World News last week: “The terrorists want foreigners to stop travel to certain destinations. However, we need to look into the specificities of each place. If you judge safety by how many acts take place in each country, you will find that Morocco is a safe country…. We are a beautiful, diversified, and welcoming [nation].”

The Minister noted that the hospitality industry is “a harbinger of wealth, a source of employment, a way for Morocco to open itself to the outside world, and a means for Morocco to attract investment.”

Morocco currently receives about 7 billion dollars of foreign currency from tourism every year. However, the total revenue from tourism reaches approximately 10 billion dollars. Since 1995, tourism has increased five-fold. Morocco received more than 10 million tourists in 2014, far more than any other African country.

Morocco’s next opportunity to showcase its tourism industry will come this November, when an estimated 25,000 foreigners will flood Marrakesh to attend the COP22 conference. MAP reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Tourism is currently working with the owners of residential facilities across the city to directly negotiate lodgings for 70 percent of foreign attendees, thereby cutting out middlemen and brokers. The ministry will also emphasize to professionals in the tourism industry the importance of COP22 to run smoothly, in part to turn international attention towards the Kingdom and attract more tourists.

For Haddad, however, tourism goes beyond the economic benefit for the Kingdom. “Tourism and the hospitality industry is the hope for the future of the world economy, but also of world unity,” Haddad said. “For people to meet and understand each other better, we need to promote tourism.”

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