While the number sets a new record for Moroccan tourism, there is still room for improvement to further boost Morocco’s position as a top tourist destination.
Rabat – Moroccan tourism reached a growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2019, recording nearly 13 million tourists, revealed the President of the National Tourism Confederation (CNT), Abdellatif Kabbaj.
Kabbaj revealed the numbers on Saturday, February 1, at a press conference in Marrakech about CNT’s road map to promoting the Moroccan tourism industry.
French tourists remain the largest group of visitors to Morocco, with around 1.99 million French nationals visiting the country in 2019.
The number of nights spent in Morocco’s tourist accommodation has also increased by 5% between 2018 and 2019, with hotels making MAD 78.5 billion (around €7.35 billion) in revenue, noted Kabbaj.
The year of 2019 is “a record year for national tourism.” However, “we must not delude ourselves” with the figures, as tourism performance can further improve, underlined the Moroccan businessman.
Strengthening air transport and investing in infrastructure are the keys to promote Morocco as a tourist destination, said Kabbaj.
Morocco has more than 2,000 hotels, with a total capacity of 400,000 beds, including 15,000 beds in Marrakech, Morocco’s most visited city, alone.
However, the “occupancy rate of around 45% is still insufficient to make [hotels] profitable,” deplored Kabbaj.
“We need to work to achieve an occupancy rate above 70%, through strengthening the air and investing more in promotion,” he encouraged.
The tourism sector in Morocco employs more than 750,000 people and represents 7% of Morocco’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), amounting to about MAD 80 billion (around €7.5 billion).
The sector also represents 29% of Morocco’s service exports, revealed Kabbaj, highlighting the role of tourism in the reduction of unemployment in Morocco.
The roadmap presented by CNT’s president focuses mainly on a digital transformation of the tourism sector, but it also revolves around the development of human resources, taxes, and the sector’s regulations.
CNT drafted the strategy taking into consideration some key indicators presented by the Moroccan Tourism Observatory, concluded Kabbaj.
The tourism confederation, created in 1995, aims to “bring together all the professionals in the sector,” including hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, and tourist transport.