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Morocco to Increase Number of Russian Tourists by 400 Percent

Morocco is seeking to increase tourist flow from Russia by 400 percent over three years, Moroccan Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad said, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

“Russia offers us a big opportunity,” Haddad said. “We want to increase the number of arrivals from Russia by 400 percent, from 40,000 per year to 200,000 per year, over three years,” he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

The move comes after instability in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya has resulted in fewer visitors from Europe, Bloomberg reported.

The Moroccan tourism ministry is holding talks with Royal Air Maroc and Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot on the opening of new routes between Moscow and St. Petersburg and Marrakesh and Agadir, Haddad said, Bloomberg reported.

Russian outbound tourist flow decreased by 31.3 percent last year — the biggest drop in 18 years, according to Russian Tourism Industry Union data — due to the weakening ruble and the ban on flights to Turkey and Egypt.

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