Tourism in Morocco Is Facing a Disastrous Year

According to a statistical study conducted by Zoubir Bouhout, director of the Provincial Tourism Council of Ouarzazate, the 2020 season is likely to end with the same scores as in the early 1980s. The number of arrivals would be around 2.37 million tourists if the crisis lasted. This would imply a loss of more than 10.5 million tourists compared to the 2019 season, with 5.5 million less foreign tourists (FTs) and 4.9 million less Moroccans Living Abroad (MREs).

It is estimated that the number of tourist arrivals will be over 2.37 million. This will result in a loss of more than 10.5 million tourists compared to the 2019 season, mainly due to the 5.5 million foreign overnight tourists (FOTs) and 4.9 million fewer Moroccans living abroad (MREs).

As far as overnight stays are concerned, it is estimated that there will be around 5.8 million overnight stays. This means that there will be a loss of almost 19.5 million overnight stays compared to 2019, of which more than 5.8 million overnight stays are expected to involve domestic tourists.

It should be recalled that Moroccan tourism has clearly evolved in terms of arrivals, overnight stays and foreign exchange earnings since 2012. The number of arrivals rose from 9.37 million tourists to 12.93 million in 2019, whereas overnight stays increased from 17.56 million to 25.24 million during the period 2012-2019. This outcome had a very positive impact on foreign exchange earnings, which rose from 57.8 million MMDH in 2012 to 78.7 million MMDH in 2019.

The repercussions of the Covid-19, which were anticipated following its various developments, are being confirmed on a daily basis. On top of the upheavals of the examination period, the celebration of Eid Al-Adha will reduce the aspirations of a resumption of activity for some time, with a return to school scheduled for early September.

During the summer period, Agadir, which is a preferred destination for Moroccans, recorded an average occupancy rate that did not exceed, according to the AIHA, 20% during July on a classified capacity estimated at 32,000 beds. Reservation forecasts are promising for the Taghazout station (4 operational hotels), including rental accommodation in the north of Agadir. “The Imi Ouaddar station dedicated to domestic tourism is fully booked in July and August because the product is already adapted to this segment”, it is indicated.

According to the Regional Tourism Council’s predictions, however, the impact of this health crisis, with the closure of borders until the end of December, would generate 2.2 MMDH of losses on the tourism industry.

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