Rabat- In spite of a difficult geo-strategic situation proximate to other countries experiencing the so-called “Arab Spring,” Morocco’s tourism sector generated 60 billion dirhams in revenues in 2013, according to Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad.
Morocco’s tourism minister said that a record-breaking 10 million people visited the North African country in 2013, indicating that the tourism industry is recovering from the setbacks caused by the “Arab Spring” revolutions in neighboring countries.
After several years of flat growth, Moroccan tourism on Tuesday reported a 7.2 percent increase in tourists since 2012.
According to the Moroccan news agency MAP, despite regional difficulties such the Arab Spring revolution, the tourism sector recorded a positive performance in 2013.
Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad touted a 9 percent increase in the number of nights tourists spent in hotels, but earnings were nearly the same as in 2012 at $7.2 billion. Tourism was also responsible for creating 20,000 jobs in 2013. The Minister predicted another 8 percent increase in visitor arrivals in 2014.
Morocco, whose beaches, exotic cities, and pristine mountains are popular tourist destinations for Europeans and Americans, relies on tourism for 10 percent of its GDP, the second-largest contributor after agriculture.
Boosting its position as a significant contributor to the Moroccan economy, the tourism sector reflected 9 percent of the national GDP, Haddad said.
He emphasized the formalization of 15 Regional Programs Contracts for various development projects. These projects will help local partners move in the right direction toward achieving Morocco’s Vision 2020 ambitions.