Morocco to add $48 tax to first class tickets - the proceeds of the tax will be used to help promote the country in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, the Gulf and Eastern Europe
Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad, says that first class flights will be taxed 400 dirhams ($48/36 euros), while a surcharge of 100 dirhams (9 euros $12) will be added to economy class tickets, Lahcen Haddad said the tax will take effect on April 1 - sceptics will note that the date is April Fools Day. But this is not a joke.
The government expects to raise around 90 million euros a year initially, half of which is expected to fund the activities of the Moroccan national tourist office, with the rest to go to a social development fund.
The proceeds would allow Morocco to raise its profile in places like Brazil, China, the Gulf and West Africa, where interest in holidays to the country is growing, as well as in eastern Europe, the minister said.
Morocco received 10 million visitors last year, with the tourism business generating more than 5.4 billion euros in revenues, representing 8 percent of GDP and employing some 500,000 people.