Morocco Receives Record 11.35 mln Tourists in 2017

Morocco closed 2017 with a record number of 11.35 million tourists visiting the country, that is a 10% rise compared to the previous year.

The increase in foreign visitors covered traditional tourist emitting markets: France, Spain and Germany as well as emerging markets including China and Brazil, the tourism ministry said a statement.

Revenues of the tourist sector stood at 69.7 billion dirhams (€6.16 bln) compared to 64.2 billion dirhams in 2016 and 5.67 billion in 2015, the statement said.

Nights spent by foreign visitors in Morocco rose 15% with the occupancy rate increasing 43%, that is three points higher than 2016, the ministry added.

Marrakech saw the number of tourists increase by 20% to reach 2 million tourists in 2017 with 7 million nights.

With 10 million tourists in 2016, Morocco is progressing steadily towards the goal of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest tourist markets, Research and Markets said in a recent report.

As it seeks to diversify its tourist emitting markets, Morocco sees enormous opportunities in the Chinese market, which has 130 million tourists traveling abroad annually and spending generously. Morocco has therefore taken a series of incentives to attract 500,000 Chinese tourists by 2020 up from 10,000 in 2015.

Morocco has launched Vision 2020, aiming to double the size of tourist sector and boosting revenues to $15bn annually by the end of the decade.

Tourism, which employs 2.5 million people, was worth an estimated 6.6 % of GDP in 2016.

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