Moroccans shun local tourism for Spain, Turkey and Asia | Saad Guerraoui
Spain is one of Moroccans’ favourite destinations. Approximately 900,000 Moroccan tourists went to Spain in 2018 while nearly 815,000 Spaniards visited Morocco, creating a travel balance deficit of more than $100 million.
Youssouf Aboulfaraj, a 36-year-old Moroccan IT consultant, said he is a regular visitor to Spain.
“Every year I go with my wife to Altea in Alicante region because it has a lot more to offer than in the best tourist destinations in Morocco,” he said. “We book a year in advance as soon as we leave the hotel because Altea is our favourite city in the world thanks to its wide choice of restaurants that offer great value for money unlike in Morocco.”
“Quality hotels and holiday properties are very pricey in the peak summer season in Morocco,” he added.
“During the summer, the majority of Moroccans go to northern seaside resorts like Martil, Tamuda Bay (M’diq-Fnideq) and Saidia while those of Agadir and Taghazout are also very solicited,” Zemrani said.
Prices at hotels and holiday properties dramatically soar in Tamuda Bay, which has some of the finest beaches in Morocco. The rental price of a chalet near the beach in the private resort of Restinga Smir can be $300 a day in August.
“Spain is a great shopping destination that offers good infrastructure, such as hotels and restaurants besides its animated nightlife and festivals,” said Ouaddahou, adding that its clothing outlets are very interesting.
“Between the absence of a visa and only 4 hours by plane, this country (Turkey) that has had a hard time has an incredible rating all year round, especially since it offers all-inclusive packages, for Moroccans to discover a country they often see in Turkish soaps,” said Zemrani.
Anas Essamlali, a 30-year-old photographer, recently returned home from Turkey after a 2-week holiday
“Tourism is much cheaper in Turkey than Morocco, especially when you want to fly between Turkish cities,” said Essamlali. “I don’t need to look left and right when I’m talking on the phone in the streets even in the middle of the night.”