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Abdelghani Ragala, head of the Tangier-Tétouan regional tourism board, said the entity is willing to co-finance the crossing as long as its Portuguese counterpart also shares the costs, to make the operation financially attractive. “At this moment we need the operator to draw up a financial plan and then for the entities on both sides to reach an agreement on how we can collaborate. Our region is, at this moment, implementing a policy of financial support for all ways of travelling to Tangier and Tétouan”, Ragala said in comments to newspaper Sul Informação.
The Sul Informação reporter was part of a committee from the Algarve invited on a four-day visit to the northern Moroccan region by its tourism board, and which also comprised Faro councillor José Cavaco and José Alberto Alegria, Honorary Consul of Morocco in the Algarve.
A ferry route between the Algarve and northern Morocco has already existed but was scrapped around 20 years ago.
In recent years the idea of reinstating the route, but with a faster, more modern Ferry boat, has gained ground.
The trip is expected to take around five hours and would involve a catamaran similar to the one that connects Tarifa and Algeciras, in southern Spain, to Tangiers.
According to Sul Informação the crossing will be operated by the company Intershipping.
Faro, a city twinned with Tangiers since 1985, has been one of the driving forces behind the idea and it was, reportedly, one of the main topics of conversation during the recent field trip.
“We have been working on this possibility for a while now, with the heads of Algarvian entities, specifically the municipality of Faro. We have very important economic links with the Algarve, with Portuguese companies set up here [northern Morocco], and with the many tourists who come here from the Algarve”, Abdelghani Ragala told Sul Informação.
He explained that “Currently Moroccans mainly chose to holiday in the south of Spain. But they already know that region and want to discover the Algarve, not least because it has an abundance of a product that interests them a lot – aparthotels. As well as tourist traffic there is also great potential for commercial traffic. Both sides will benefit.”
According to the Tangiers tourism chief, the crossing could be operational within 18 months to two years.

Tag(s) : #Maghreb

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