Nearly 13 million tourists visited Morocco in 2019

The city of Agadir, Central Morocco./Morocco World News
View of Casablanca from the esplanade of the mosque Hassan II on June 20, 2019 in Casablanca, Morocco. /Getty Images

The National Tourism Confederation has revealed that Moroccan tourism reached a growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2019, recording nearly 13 million tourists.

Its President Abdellatif Kabbaj while addressing journalists in Marrakech said French tourists remain the largest group of visitors to Morocco, with around 1.99 million French nationals visiting the country in 2019.

The number of nights spent in Morocco’s tourist accommodation has also increased by 5% between 2018 and 2019, with hotels making MAD 78.5 billion (€7.35 billion) in revenue, noted Kabbaj.

The year of 2019 is “a record year for national tourism.” However, “we must not delude ourselves” with the figures, as tourism performance can further improve, underlined the Moroccan businessman.

Strengthening air transport and investing in infrastructure are the keys to promote Morocco as a tourist destination, said Kabbaj.

Morocco has more than 2,000 hotels, with a total capacity of 400,000 beds, including 15,000 beds in Marrakech, Morocco’s most visited city, alone.

However, the “occupancy rate of around 45% is still insufficient to make hotels profitable,” he added.

“We need to work to achieve an occupancy rate above 70%, through strengthening the air and investing more in promotion,” he encouraged.

The tourism sector in Morocco employs more than 750,000 people and represents 7% of Morocco’s Gross Domestic Product-GDP, amounting to about MAD 80 billion (around €7.5 billion).

The sector also represents 29% of Morocco’s service exports, revealed Kabbaj, highlighting the role of tourism in the reduction of unemployment in Morocco.