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Morocco tourism : Rising figures in the first quarter of 2024

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Morocco tourism : Rising figures in the first quarter of 2024

The Moroccan tourism industry is booming in 2024, with a 12.8 % increase in tourist arrivals in the first quarter compared to last year. According to the Directorate for Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF), tourist arrivals reached 3.3 million at the end of March, significantly exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 31.6 %.

Moroccan tourism sector : Encouraging first quarter of 2024

This positive trend, driven by both international visitors and Moroccans living abroad, places the country in a favorable position for this year, with the potential to exceed the record year of 13.2 million visitors in 2023.

Increases of 10.4 %, 17.9 %, and 10.2 % respectively in January, February, and March fueled this growth, which was driven by solid performances over the quarter’s three months. The increase in tourist arrivals translates into an almost total recovery of the sector’s added value. The DEPF reports that the added value of tourism has reached 98.3 % of its pre-crisis level, a significant improvement compared to the 80.5 % of the previous year.

Tourism in Morocco : 2024 revenues slow to take off

Tourism revenues show a different trend for the sector, with a decrease of 6.7 % compared to the same period in 2023. Despite this decline, revenues remain significantly higher by 40.4 % compared to pre-pandemic levels.

This positive momentum follows a record year for the tourism sector in 2023. The Ministry of Tourism revealed that the country welcomed an impressive 13.2 million visitors, surpassing the previous annual record of 12.9 million set in 2019. Tourism revenues also reached remarkable heights, totaling 97.4 billion dirhams (9.8 billion USD) by the end of November 2023, marking a 15.8 % increase year-on-year.

Surfing towards 2030 to promote Morocco as a destination

Beyond immediate gains, Morocco is eyeing a potential 2030 World Cup co-hosted with Spain and Portugal. Minister of Tourism Fatim-Zahra Ammor believes that this global sporting event presents a tremendous opportunity for tourism, further bolstering ongoing tourism development plans.

As the industry continues on this upward trajectory, Morocco appears poised to solidify its position as a premier tourist destination. The kingdom aims to attract visitors with its rich cultural tapestry, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.

Tourism forecast for the second quarter of 2024 in Morocco

April and May are crucial months for Morocco’s tourism sector. Demand gradually increases before the summer vacation period and the return of Moroccan expatriates. Despite rising prices, operators remain optimistic about the growing appeal of Morocco as a destination. This tourism enthusiasm has led to intensified air connections, especially through low-cost airlines.

Experts indicate that demand continues to rise despite the increase in airfare and accommodation prices since last month. Bookings are expected to peak over the next three months. Therefore, it is recommended that tourism sector stakeholders seize this opportunity and invest more to expand their offerings, encouraging tourists to spend more during their stay.

Impact of tourism on Morocco’s economy

Morocco’s economy 550,000 people directly employed in the tourism sector. This means that 15% of the total active population relies on the tourism industry. Morocco’s tourism sector is so robust that it recovered from the devastating earthquake of September 2023.

Key figures of Morocco’s tourism :

  • 11 million travelers visited Morocco in 2022
  • 14.5 million visitors stayed in Morocco in 2023
  • 550,000 people are employed in the tourism sector
  • Tourism contributes 7 % to Morocco’s GDP
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