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Morocco Tourism sets sights on Chinese tourists

Morocco Tourism sets sights on Chinese tourists

Morocco positions itself to welcome Chinese tourists.

The Ministry of Tourism, the Moroccan National Tourist Office, National Confederation of Tourism, and the Tourism Observatory co-organized this year in Casablanca, a seminar on the Chinese tourism market.

The seminar, which brought together the various public and private sector stakeholders – Ministry of Tourism, SMIT, ONMT, CNT, Federations trades, FMDT, CRT, Airlines and Tourism Observatory – had the opportunity to study the specifics and characteristics of this market with high tourism potential, with its ranking in the first place as the country issuing tourists (98.2 million in 2013) and the first generator of tourism spending in the world (102 billion in 2012).

It was also an opportunity to discuss actions to better position the destination of Morocco and benefit from the dynamics of trade between Morocco and China following the decision to remove Royale, from June 1, visas for all Chinese citizens.

The Morocco Ministry of Tourism attaches great importance to the Chinese market, and in its exploration policy as part of the 2020 Vision, it aims to attract 100,000 Chinese tourists in Horizon 2020. Tourist flows from this market reached 10,515 tourists at the end of 2015 with an increase of +12% compared to 2014, so this is an admirable goal.

Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Mr. Lahcen Haddad, focused his presentation at the seminar on the importance of the Royal decision that will give a great impetus to the tourism flows of Chinese in Morocco, especially Morocco, is distinguished by the diversification of its tourism product and its ability to capitalize more on the Chinese tourist segments such as the segment of the Chinese middle-class with an elite-oriented desire towards authentic experiences and exploring historical and cultural heritage, as well as the luxury segment whose customers are strongly motivated by shopping, along with other high value-added segments such as golf tourism and the MICE industry.

Furthermore, the stakeholders agreed on the need to seize the opportunities presented by this market by establishing a short action plan and medium-term plan, including opening airline routes through the Middle East and Europe; the launch of advertising campaigns in the Chinese media; the organization of educational tours for Chinese journalists and tour operators; and the preparation of conditions of stay for Chinese tourists by adapting the tourist offer, hotels, and gourmet foods as necessary in this market, along with training guides.

The seminar ended with the announcement of a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and the Confucius Centres of Rabat and Casablanca for the training of guides in Mandarin, and the establishment of an incentive system to support the Moroccan tourism operators for their participation in the Beijing tourism fair.

Characteristics of the Chinese market:

• 10,515 Chinese tourists in 2015 with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%

• The majority of Chinese (85%) who visited the kingdom spent their stays in classified hotels

• Average spending of Chinese tourists is estimated to 1,303 dhs per night

• Over 70% of Chinese tourists travel at least once a year abroad

• Regardless of the journey, the majority of Chinese are opting for a stay of 6-8 days

• More than half of Chinese tourists spend the majority of their budgets to shopping trips

• Before departure, they have as their first concern the language barrier

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