Rabat - The number of tourists who have visited Ouarzazate during the first half of 2017 rose by 38 percent, from 101,424 tourists in 2016 to 140,468 for the current year, with French tourists still leading the touristic market in the city.
Rabat – The number of tourists who have visited Ouarzazate during the first half of 2017 rose by 38 percent, from 101,424 tourists in 2016 to 140,468 for the current year, with French tourists still leading the touristic market in the city.
Tourism in the door of the desert has seen a major boost owing to the increase of the number of arrivals of resident visitors, which has reached 30,023 tourists during the first half of 2017, compared to 24,384 during the same period in 2016, recording an increase rate of 23 percent, according to the Provincial Tourism Council (CPT).
The number of non-resident tourists has also grown significantly by 43 percent, from 77,040 in 2016 to 110,445 in 2017.
June 2017 saw a significant change compared to the same period of last year, with the number of nights spent in the city increasing by 78 percent while the rate of tourists who visited the city increased by 118 percent.
French tourists seem to be the most attracted to the southern city, with 17,174 tourists arriving in Ouarzazate at the end of June 2017, against 13,837 in 2016, an increase of 24 percent. This was followed by the Spanish, who increased from 8,180 in 2016 to 13,324 in 2017, a growth rate of 63 percent.
The best performances were observed in the Asian market. The number of Japanese tourists reached 8,379 visitors in the first half of 2017 against 4,943 in 2016, an increase of 70 percent, while the biggest increase was recorded among Chinese tourists with 10,681 this year, while no visits were recorded in 2016.
However, the number of German tourists decreased from 15,255 in 2016 to 10,937 in 2017, while the other markets recorded double-digit growth, particularly the United Kingdom by 14 percent, Italy by 33 percent and the Netherlands by 48 percent.
The CPT indicated that during the first half of 2017, the number of overnight stays in classified accommodation establishments in the province was the second highest in terms of national growth at +38 percent, adding that the rate of overnight stays has increased from 153,419 in 2016 to 211,765 this year.
The increase in overnight stays was higher for non-residents, rising from 109.609 in 2016 to 165.430 in 2017, a rate of +51 percent, while the increase in overnight stays by residents was at 6 percent.
The classified tourist establishments recorded a total of 66,950 overnight stays, from which four star hotels registered 33.8 percent, stays at 3 star hotels were at 21.8 percent, hostels at 14 percent, one star hotels at 11 percent, five star hotels at 8.7 percent, 2 star hotels at 5.5 percent and tourist residences at 3.6 percent.
The city’s tourism sector has regained its economic momentum in the province of Ouarzazate, after the launch of an airline linking Ouarzazate to Brussels.
The number of passengers using Ouarzazate airport increased by 44.39 percent at the end of June 2017, exceeding the figures recorded at the other airports of the kingdom.