Morocco emerges as top choice for Russian tourists amidst shifting global relations

Morocco emerges as top choice for Russian tourists amidst shifting global relations

As tensions between Russia and Western nations continue to evolve amidst the backdrop of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Russian travellers have turned to alternative destinations, with Morocco featuring one of the most prominent attractions, according to a report by Russia Briefing.

Morocco has also “become a new preferred tourism destination for Russian nationals now feeling uncomfortable with European vacations,” said the paper.  Direct flights between Russia and Morocco have facilitated the influx of Russian tourists to this North African nation.

The Russian outlook is turning toward new destinations and emerging markets to expand trade, exchange goods, and welcome tourists. North Africa was included in the Russian search for fresh partnerships, as Russia has “actively re-engaged with the African continent,” according to the agency.

Despite this trend, Hamid Ben Taher, President of the National Confederation of Tourism, suggests that Morocco remains relatively unperturbed by Russia’s redirection of travel preferences when compared to other North African and Arab nations.

“It only makes sense that the rate of tourists to Morocco won’t go higher than other popular Russian destinations, like Dubai, for example,” said the head of CNT to MoroccoLatestNews.

“One of the most remote destinations for Russian tourists would be Morocco”. Morocco does not top the list of the most popular tourist destinations for Russians because there are other, more accessible locations to visit.

Supporting this, data from the Moroccan tourism observatory reveals that Russians did not feature prominently among the top visitors to Morocco in 2023, including the most recent statistics from June of that year. Instead, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Italy topped the list of nations sending tourists to Morocco.

However, the story takes a different turn when considering commercial and bilateral trade ties between Russia and Morocco, which have witnessed recent growth and mutual acknowledgment. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, characterizes Morocco and Russia as “strategic partners” united by a shared interest in combating terrorism and extremism. The two nations are actively collaborating to nurture economic and trade relations.

Remarkably, Morocco ranks as Russia’s third-largest trading partner on the African continent, trailing only Egypt and Algeria. In 2021, Russia’s exports to Morocco reached a value of US$1.6 billion, marking a substantial 58.50% increase from the previous year and constituting 9.3% of Russia’s overall commerce with Africa.


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