Posted by: The Pioneer

Morocco, which is planning to set up a tourism office in New Delhi in two-three months to tap the growing market, expects to more than double the tourist outflow from the country by 2019.

“We received 21,850 Indians and people of Indian origin in 2017. We expect to more than double this number by 2019. For this we are taking a number of steps,” Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco Mohamed Maliki told PTI here.

He said the first step towards promotion of Morocco as a desired tourist destination for Indians is to set up the a full-fledged Moroccan National Tourism Office in New Delhi.

“We hope the office will be set up in 2-3 months. This will help us in planning various strategic promotional and awareness programmes to tap the robust tourism sector in India,” he added.

The Kingdom of Morocco, in partnership with Cox and Kings Global Services (CKGS), is also setting up 12 visa application centres in India, of which nine are already operational.

Currently, there are visa application centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa, Indore and Bengaluru.

CKGS is set to open a new Morocco Visa Application and Information Centre (MVAIC) in Hyderabad in June 2018.

This, he said, will encourage more and more Indians to consider travelling to the North African country.

“Foreseeing the growth in the number of Indians travelling to Morocco, we needed to create a seamless experience for Indian travellers in applying for visas.

“The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco is glad to entrust the responsibility to CKGS by appointing them as our representatives to open visa application centres in India,” he added.

Maliki further said the ties between Morocco and India go back over several centuries and both the counties have enjoyed cordial relations over the years.

The Indian government and Morocco have agreed on a newly revised air service agreement which will have a positive impact on facilitating and boosting tourist movement between the two countries, he added.

Currently, there are numerous connecting flights from India to Morocco via the Middle East or Europe.

Morocco is witnessing growing interest in Bollywood, wedding, meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE)  segments, he said.

“We are eyeing people of all purse strings as we have all range of hotels and activities. We have the lowest visa fees (about Rs 3,000 per person) in the world which is refundable if it is not issued,” he added.