Rabat – The High Commission for Planning announced on Monday that the tourism sector increased by 2.8 percent over the course of 2015.The numbers are lower than those predicted by international experts.The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted that the sector would grow by 3.5 percent in 2015 – in line with the African continent’s expected tourism development rate. Domestic tourism also increased last year by 2.5 percent, against the WTTC’s forecast of 2.9 percent growth.The Moroccan Tourism Ministry is currently implementing a Vision 2020 strategy to boost sector growth by increasing the total number of visitors, inviting new hotel and infrastructure investments and providing professional development from the industry’s current workers.“Tourism is harbinger of wealth, a source of employment, a way for Morocco to open itself to the outside world, and a means for Morocco to attract investment,” Minister Lahcen Haddad told Morocco World News in an interview.The boons of tourism have been limited to the kingdom’s biggest cities, such as Casablanca and Marrakesh – a situation that, according to Haddad, needs to be changed to spread the wealth and offer visitors a more holistic experience of Morocco.“Today there are more than 950 travel agencies,” the minister said. “More than half are concentrated in Casablanca and Marrakech.”Since King Mohammed VI’s visit to China earlier this year – when he eased visa requirements for Chinese visitors – Morocco has become a “hot” destination for the Asian country’s tourists.Next year’s report, to include 2016, will cover the Chinese tourism boost. read more