While many countries are dealing with the problem of too many cruise passengers, Morocco has an opposite problem, as the number of visitors has been decreasing sharply in the last couple of years. According to La Vie Eco, 185 thousand cruise tourists arrive in the country per annum. In contrast, 6 years ago, the figure was 500,000.
According to ANP statistics, Agadir saw an increase in the number of its cruise passengers by 16.2% at the end of November (89,635). For its part, Tangier registered a growth of 35% at the end of December last year. Then what exactly explains this tumble? It is worth recalling that the global sector is worth 126 billion dollars (2016) with 300 cruise ships circulating in 2017.
The new leader of the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) has decided to take the subject very seriously in order to quickly find a solution to stop the ‘bleeding’. In this sense, the office ensures the participation of Morocco in several international exhibitions in order to promote the destination. From Lisbon to Miami to other fairs and events in other countries, the ONMT spares no effort.
The cruise tourists represent a significant financial windfall. On average, a passenger spends 100 dollars per day. The example of Turkey could be taken as an inspiration, with the country having put in place specific measures to attract this type of tourism.
Among other things, the country has cancelled port fees for all companies that dock ships in its ports. As a result, the country hosts a large number of cruise ships each year and the cruise tourists spend more. As mentioned, Morocco could learn a thing or two from Turkey, as the country has a beneficial geographical position. According to experts, Morocco can attract 1.5 million cruise passengers every year.