Despite the economic crisis that has deeply hit France, when the French can get away for a few days on vacation, they choose primarily Morocco. However, according to Moroccan tourism
experts, 2012 will be difficult for the sector. Thus, the kingdom's interest is to diversify its holiday deals in order to attract as many foreign tourists as possible.
According to results of a poll released earlier this week, 46 percent of French respondents said they would not go on vacation in 2012 due to the economic hardships. This means that the remainder, 54 percent, are lucky as they plan to go on holiday this year. One third of these, i.e. 18 percent of the French people surveyed, plan to travel to Morocco
, Tunisia, or Egypt.
Like last year, Morocco is the top destination for the French. The poll indicates that 11 percent of the French want to spend holidays or long weekends in the North African kingdom. The most attractive city is Marrakech. In terms of accommodation, the French prefer to spend their time in 5 star hotels.
As for Tunisia, 7.5 percent of the French plan their vacations there. Unlike Morocco, which attracts a mostly young clientele under 30 years of age, Tunisia attracts tourists aged between 30 and 49 years.
The poll highlights the tough times being faced by Egypt. Violent events that marked 2011 and the current instability in the country have cooled the interest of the French tourists. Only 2.5 percent of them plan to travel there.
Despite the global crisis, Morocco has done well; the country ended 2011 with a 2 percent increase in arrivals. Now one of the major objectives for Moroccan tourist authorities is to continue to attract Spanish tourists to the kingdom. This is despite the decline in direct flights to Marrakech by Spanish companies, including low-cost airline EasyJet. These reductions are justified by the current crisis in the aviation sector.
The Spanish market is placed in second position just after the French in terms of tourists visiting Morocco. "With 40.5 million inhabitants, Spaniards make close to 11 million trips abroad per year. The share of Morocco is just 8%.”
Image Credit: Alex de Carvalho, Flickr
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