Tourism is continuing to boom in Marrakech, one of Morocco’s biggest tourist destinations, according to the tourism observatory.
Rabat – Morocco’s Tourism Observatory reported tourism an 8% rise in overnight stays in Marrakech in the first half of 2019 compared to overnight stays in 2018.
The observatory recorded 3,967,857 overnight hotel stays from January to June, compared to 3,669,212 in the same time period last year.
Hotel occupancy rates were also much higher, with the observatory marking a 63% occupancy rate in hotels during the period, compared to just 58% last year.
One thing that did not change from last year to this year is the total amount of time tourists are spending in Marrakech. The rate has stayed at an average of 3 days.
The ochre city of Marrakech has long been one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations, and every year the number of tourists rises. In the first 11 months of 2018, a whopping 2.4 million tourists flocked to the city.
However, as tourism grows, the city has gained a reputation for overcharging and other scams, particularly in Jemaa El Fna square, an area hugely popular with tourists.
As a result, the wali (governor) of Marrakech is taking firm measures to combat the problem and has launched a crackdown on overcharging restaurant owners, pushy snake charmers, henna tattooists, taxi drivers, and vendors who may taint tourists’ experience of Marrakech.
Most recently, on July 3, Marrakech police arrested a snake charmer in Jemaa El Fna square for fraud and breach of trust after he charged a tourist €40 for a single photo.
Additionally, the city sanctioned 39 taxis this year for overcharging, as well as seven restaurants and 70 street vendors.