By Sana El Ouazi
Rabat – In 2017, Moroccan air traffic increased significantly, with an 11.63 percent rise in the number of passengers who passed through Moroccan airports, the National Office of Airports (ONDA) announced Monday.
“2017 set a new record for the Kingdom’s airports, which welcomed 20,357,866 passengers, a sharp rise of around 11.63 percent”, said the ONDA, noting that this double-digit rise “has not been reached since the year 2010.”
For the first time, the Mohammed V airport exceeded its yearly average of nine million travelers, registering 9,357,427 passengers and marking an increase of 8.60 percentage points over 2016.
The growth was sharper in Tangiers at 26.11 percent, Fez at 24.93 percent, Agadir at 15.74 percent and Marrakesh at 11.96 percent, says the ONDA.
Domestic traffic also recorded a gain of 11.23 percent, with 2,133,287 million passengers in 2017, exceeding the average 2 million.
According to the ONDA’s annual statistics, air freight experienced growth of 18.95 percent during 2017, recording an increase of 81,408.03 tons compared to 68,436.24 tons in 2016.
This increase meant a total of 64.4 billion dirham for the Moroccan economy by the end of November 2017, which was a 6.6 percent increase compared to the same period of 2016.
There was a steady rise in the number of tourists coming to Morocco from Europe, but the most notable and encouraging increase in tourist numbers came from what can be described as new and emerging markets for Morocco.
The number of tourists from China last year saw a staggering increase of 173 percent. Tourists from Brazil increased by 57 percent, and tourism rates from the United States, South Korea, and Japan all increased by 30 percent. More complete year-end statistics are expected.
Edited by Than Rabuzzi