13 Million Tourists Visited Morocco in 2019

The tourism sector closed the past year with about 13 million tourist arrivals recorded at the Kingdom’s border posts, which represents to a positive evolution of +5.2% in 2019 (+5.4% for foreign tourists and +5% for Moroccans residing abroad), indicates the Tourism Observatory in its latest note on the statistics of tourism in Morocco.

The market has managed to maintain its sustained growth rate during the year 2019, thanks to a positive evolution driven by the main markets of Morocco destination, namely, Italy (+9%), the United Kingdom (+8%), France (+6%), Spain (+6%), Germany (+5%) and Holland (+4%), the Observatory says.

In parallel with the increase in arrivals at border crossings, overnight stays in classified accommodation establishments have increased by +5% (+3% for non-resident tourists and +9% for residents) to reach 25.2 million overnight stays, notes the same source, adding that this increase concerned the majority of the Kingdom’s tourist destinations.

The two tourist poles of Marrakech and Agadir, moreover, have alone generated 57% of the total overnight stays in 2019 (+6% for Marrakech and +3% for Agadir), while the other destinations such as Tangiers, Casablanca, Rabat and Fez have also posted positive results (+8%, +5%, +1% and +2% respectively).

The increase in the visits of classified accommodation establishments had a positive impact on the annual occupancy rates of the various destinations, namely 83% in El Haouz, 64% in Marrakech, 57% in Agadir and 55% in Tangier and Rabat, according to the Observatory.

The foreign currency travel receipts also experienced a positive evolution in 2019 since the tourist activity of non-residents in Morocco generated 78.6 billion Dirhams (MMDH) of receipts against 73.04 MMDH in 2018, an increase of +7.7%.

For the month of December 2019 alone, the number of tourist arrivals at border crossings rose by 4% compared to the same period a year earlier in 2018 (+1% for foreign tourists and +10% for Moroccans residing abroad).

The main emitting markets recorded contrasting results, namely France and Spain recorded increases of +4% and +8% respectively, while Germany, Belgium and Holland recorded decreases of -2%, -2% and -4% respectively, notes the Observatory, pointing out that the other markets posted positive results, namely the United States (+12%), the United Kingdom (+11%) and Italy (+11%).

At the same time, according to data provided by tourist accommodation professionals, the volume of overnight stays in classified establishments increased by +3% in December 2019, compared to that of 2018 (+2% for non-resident tourists and +4% for residents).

At the geographical level, the destinations of Agadir Casablanca, Essaouira and Tangier recorded an increase in terms of overnight stays of +8%, +5%, +6% and +2%, while the cities of Rabat, Marrakech and Fez recorded decreases of -8%, -2% and -1% respectively.

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