Morocco promises UK marketing blitz as bomb suspects held

Morocco promises UK marketing blitz as bomb suspects held

Morocco’s tourism authorities have promised “a battery of marketing initiatives” to counter any adverse reaction among travellers to the bombing in Marrakech last week, as the authorities reported three suspects detained.

Sixteen people died in the explosion at the Argana cafe in Marrakech’s Djemma el Fna square on April 28.

Moroccan National Tourist Office UK director Ali El Kasmi said: “A battery of PR and marketing initiatives is being put in place to curb any impact this act may create in travellers’ minds.”

The main suspect, described as “linked to Al-Qaeda” was arrested along with two other Moroccans in Safi, 220 miles south of Casablanca, according to a security official.

A statement by the interior ministry said the principal suspect had "made two explosive devices, which were triggered from a distance after he took them to Marrakech". The ministry said the bomber "chose the Argana cafe because it is popular with Moroccan and foreign tourists".

The tourist office reports all carriers operating normally from the UK to Morocco and no changes to tour operators’ programmes. The office also reports there has been  “no major drop” in hotel bookings.

El Kasmi said: "We want to reassure our travel industry partners that this tragic event has given us more will and determination to maintain our investment and partnership commitment."

Tour operators have reported no evidence of alarm among clients. Cadogan managing director Neil Chapman said the operator had seen no cancellations, although bookings to Morocco were already down.

However, Classic Collection managing director Nick Munday said: “This is not going to help. One more incident would be unbelievably serious.”

The Foreign Office continues to advise UK travellers to Marrakech to exercise caution.


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