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Morocco sees leap in Chinese tourists after visa-free regime

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-01 11:04
Morocco has decided to exempt Chinese nationals from visa requirements to enter Moroccan territory, starting June 2016. Since then the number of Chinese tourists to Morocco has increased substantially. [Photo/IC]

RABAT -- The number of Chinese tourists visiting Morocco reached 118,000 in 2017, Khalid Fathi, chief representative of the Moroccan tourist office in China, said on Wednesday.

Since King Mohammed VI's decision to grant Chinese citizens visa-free access from June 1, 2016, Morocco has witnessed remarkable increase in the number of Chinese tourists, which used to be no more than 20,000 each year.

The main scenic spot of the popular movie "Operation Red Sea", Morocco enjoys rich tourism resources with long stretches of coastline in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, as well as parts of the Sahara Desert, snow-capped mountains and ancient city sites.

At the China-Morocco Tourism Cooperation Forum held in Morocco's northwestern city of Casablanca in February, Morocco's Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy Mohamed Sajid said the expectation is to attract 500,000 Chinese tourists annually by 2020.

Sajid said Morocco has been working to improve its hotels, transport facilities and tourist reception. Direct flights between Morocco and China are being negotiated.

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