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Ctrip to boost Chinese tourism to Morocco

Chinese tourism to Morocco

Ctrip, Asia’s largest online travel agent, has formally signed a strategic co-operation agreement with Morocco’s National Tourism Office to boost Chinese tourism to Morocco.

James Liang, Chairman and Co-founder of Ctrip, met with an official Moroccan delegation led by Mr. Saad Eddine El Othman, Prime Minister of Morocco. Official attendees included Mr. Mohamed Sajid, Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy, and Mr. Adel El Fakir, Director General of Morocco’s National Tourism Office.

The partnership will span over three years and aims to increase exposure of Moroccan destinations in the China, notably through digital marketing campaigns. With over 60 years of diplomatic relations, a China-Morocco Year of Culture and Tourism planned for 2020, and a visa exemption policy in place since 2016, Morocco has opened its doors to embrace Chinese tourists.

In the three years since the introduction of the visa exemption policy, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country has soared from 43,000 in 2016 to 200,000 in 2018. According to Ctrip flight data, Morocco was the third most popular destination in Africa for Chinese outbound tourists during the 2019 summer holiday season, following Rwanda and Namibia. The number of flights booked from China to Morocco grew 140% compared to last summer.

But there is so much more potential, James Liang remarked. "Morocco is such a beautiful country, with many rich experiences awaiting Chinese visitors. But up until this point, the proportion of Chinese tourists visiting the region has remained relatively low."

Morocco has its sights set on improving its capacity to host tourists, working primarily to upgrade its accommodation and transportation sectors. The country hopes to more than double the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country annually in 2020 to 500,000 and is currently in discussions with airlines to open a direct flight route between Morocco and China.

Working with Ctrip, Morocco will further benefit from social media exposure and package tour product development, among other points of collaboration, to help the country realise its tourism aspirations.

The co-operation will mainly take place in the areas of product development and marketing, with Ctrip building upon the foundation of its already popular Southern European group itineraries and working towards making the location more accessible for individual travelers. Liang said, "for us, today is a new beginning. There is so much potential for Morocco, and I look forward to working together, to put this beautiful country on the itineraries of both tour groups and independent travelers in the coming years."

Mr. Mohamed Sajid, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy said, “we hope to attract 500,000 Chinese tourists in 2020, and with Ctrip, I am certain we will make good progress towards earning a place among the world's top 20 destinations."

Mr. Adel El Fakir, Director General of the Moroccan Tourism Office (ONMT) said, “Morocco is home to a wealth of cuisine and culture, and we’d love to share this with more Chinese tourists. Our partnership with Ctrip will help us to better cater to their needs and ensure that Moroccan destinations achieve maximum exposure in the Chinese market.”

Together, Ctrip will help Morocco to achieve the country's 2020 Vision, which aims to earn it a place among the ranks of the the world’s top travel destinations, and to support tourism as the driving force for financial, social, and cultural development in Morocco.





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