Morocco to introduce new tourist tax

Departure tax to be brought in from April 1

Morocco is planning to bring in a €9 tourist departure tax from April 1 next year.

The country’s tourism minister, Lahcen Haddad, says that the estimated amount that will be raised, around €90 million a year, will be used to promote Morocco as a tourist destination in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, the Gulf countries, western Africa and eastern Europe.

The amount paid by visitors to the country will depend on whether they are travelling economy (100 dirhams, which is around €9) or first class (400 dirhams; €36).

The managing director of a tour operator in the UK cautioned that the new tax could be a risky move in the long term.

“The Moroccans need to be careful about their long-term strategy, which seems to be much more mass-market focused. They support volume tour operators with funding at the expense of niche operators,” Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays said.

“If the government objectives are for volume from new markets, they will attract a new group of customers who will make the destination less appealing to the core market who actually put more into the local economy when they get there. It needs to be done very carefully and cautiously.”


[pictured: “Market Day Outside the Walls of Tangiers” by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1873)]