- Despite the strong injury for Morocco's tourism industry sustained by the terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May and by the continued existence of terrorist cells in the country, the Moroccan government is confident the sector will not suffer a setback.
There is not believed to be a reduction in tourist arrivals this season in Morocco. The national government in particular trusts in the arrival of the traditionally faithful French tourists.
During an interview with the French radio broadcaster 'Paris Radio', the Moroccan Ambassador in France expressed confidence in the French people to continue thei traditional visits to the Kingdom. He did not believe the terrible event in Morocco's economic capital Casablanca earlier this year - where an international terrorist group bombed five sites of foreign interest - would turn these tendencies.
In addition to count on a large number of French arrivals to Morocco in the upcoming months, Moroccan Ambassador Hassan Abouyoub strongly dismissed the "rumours" in the international press, saying this summer would see a poor tourism season in Morocco.
According to Mr Abouyoub, his country's tourism industry is preparing intensively or a record number of foreign arrivals this season. He added he had indications this year would yield "exceptional" growth in the Morocco's tourism sector.
At the same time, one always expected the seasonal return of the large Moroccan community living in France, which usually spends its summer vacations in the homeland. The Moroccan French constitute the largest expatriate society of Moroccans, said to number between one million and one and a half million persons, according to the Ambassador.
Mr Abouyoub added that he had been informed that also many of the Jewish Moroccan expatriates had planned to visit Morocco this summer, to demonstrate "to the entire world that they still are united with their country." Morocco's substantial Jewish minority had been a prime target in the terrorist attacks, which included the bombing of a Jewish cementary.
In Morocco, meanwhile, the authorities continue to investigate who was responsible for the terrorist attack on Casablanca. Although the authorities already have detained a large number of suspects, several Western countries, including the European Union, claim to have information on the possible planning of more terrorist attacks in Morocco.
Thus, Western Ministries of Foreign Affairs still tell their citizens about special risks of terrorism when travelling to Morocco. Although no country advises its citizens from travelling to Morocco, tourists are strongly advised to be concerned over their peronal security.
According to the US State Department, for example, "the potential for violence against American interests and citizens, and for transnational terrorism, remains high in Morocco." The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees that "terrorist groups are active in Morocco" and urges Germans to observe "increased attention".
In major countries of tourist origin, such as France and Germany, tour operators are reported to maintain their traditional Moroccan destinations. In Scandinavia, however, the traffic to Northern Africa this year is clearly shifting from Morocco to Egypt.
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