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Morocco officials look to diversity its source markets

Morocco's tourism industry has been negatively impacted by outbreaks of violence in neighboring countries. As a counteracting measure, officials are looking to diversify its source markets. Increased awareness of Morocco's tourism product, including one of its greatest assets- luxury holidays, is likely the key to injecting new life into the country's flailing tourism industry.

Morocco officials look to diversity its source markets

According to Morocco's Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad, his country's tourism industry is currently in the throes of a crisis the likes of which Morocco has not seen since the 1990s.

Recent projections indicate that Morocco will close 2015 with a modest growth of between 1 and 2.2 per cent, figures that fall well below the initial 10 per cent target set by officials.

Mr. Haddad blames the slow down in the number of travellers booking holidays in Morocco on the "reluctance of source markets" in light of outbreaks of violence in the Arab world and North Africa and Morocco's proximity to unstable regions.

Other holiday destinations like Kenya and Tanzania are grappling with similar reputation issues but have however, put steps in place to reassure the world that they are safe holiday destinations. Welcoming high profile visitors is one strategy that has been employed by Kenya and Tanzania with some success.

Notably, the UK High Commissioner recently took a safari holiday in Kenya while the former US president Bill Clinton visited Tanzania to open up its high tourism season. Both visits were highly publicized and helped to boost awareness of these destinations among international holidaymakers- something that Morocco is also hoping to achieve.

According to Mr. Haddad, Morocco has now initiated a communication action plan aimed at increasing confidence in Morocco as a holiday destination and attracting visitors from a wider range of source markets. In addition to outlining its rich culture and history, officials will likely look to highlight one of Morocco's greatest assets is its luxury tourism product.

Travel Pulse recently highlighted the top six activities for travellers interested in luxury Morocco holidays. Among the luxury recreational activities listed was a stroll through Chefchaouen, a night's stay in the Sahara and of course a stay in one of Morocco's many luxury hotels including the Sofitel Palaus Jamai Fes, the Kasbah Agafay Hotel and Spa and the Royal Palm Marrakech.

Despite of the decline, Mr. Haddad's general outlook remained confident as he stressed that Morocco was "mature enough" to restore growth.

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