Rabat - Agadir posted a 9.49% increase in tourist arrivals last January, welcoming a total of 62,007 tourists against 56,632 for the same period in 2016.
Rabat – Agadir posted a 9.49% increase in tourist arrivals last January, welcoming a total of 62,007 tourists against 56,632 for the same period in 2016.
According to statistics from the Regional Council of Tourism (CRT), the nationals lead the arrivals in the various classified establishments, with 17,304 tourists against 21,293 a year before, a decrease of 18.73%.
The German market, which comes in second place with 10,949 tourists, showed a significant increase of 124.59%. The French market posted the same uptrend also with 9,763 arrivals in January compared with 8,027 arrivals in January 2016, an increase of 21.63%. The English and Belgian markets also increased, with 6,343 and 2,177 arrivals, respectively.
In terms of ranking per tourist accommodation unit, hotels classified 4 stars come in first place with 19,650 tourists, followed by 5-star hotels with 15,432 and tourist villages with 12,836 visitors.
In a difficult international context, Moroccan tourism seems to persist, maintaining this upward trend as hard as possible and relying on new markets such as China and Russia. In 2016, 10.3 million tourists visited the kingdom, up 1.5% from 2015, according to the Moroccan Tourism Observatory.
Said Mouhid, the president of the Moroccan Tourism Observatory, judges this performance “honorable and positive.”
“We are in a difficult international context, marked by many obstacles to travel,” Mouhid told AFP.
While tourism in Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt has been hit hard by the jihadist attacks in recent years, the kingdom has not experienced an attack since the 2011 cafe bombing near Jamaa el Fna square in Marrakech that killed 17 people, including 8 French tourists.
But the terrorist threat is real, as evidenced by the recurring announcements by the authorities of dismantling jihadist cells. As a key security partner for European countries, Morocco is pursuing an offensive security policy. Police are omnipresent in tourist areas.
Tourism is a key sector of the Moroccan economy, which accounts for 10% of the national wealth. The exports and financial transfers from Moroccans residing abroad is one of the country’s main sources of foreign exchange and its second employer.
In addition to the growth of the number of arrivals, the sector’s receipts amounted to 5.94 billion euros, up 3.4%, with a rise in overnight stays of 4.5%.
“These figures prove the resilience of Moroccan tourism, even if they remain below our ambitions,” said Mouhid.