Tourism In Morocco: Facts And Figures

The global financial and economic crisis has caused serious problems in many sectors of the economy including the tourism industry. Filed under: Robert J. Shiller. For a country like Morocco, whose main sources of income are tourism, mainly from EU countries and USA, and the flow of foreign exchange Moroccans Living Abroad (MRE), this crisis could look like a real threat to its economy, which in 2008 received from the tourism revenues of 57 billion dirhams, about 20% of its GDP. This is even more evident if we consider that tourism revenues have fallen by 20% over the same period of 2008, from 4.33 to 3.46 billion dirhams. But the Moroccan tourism industry has the potential to avoid the negative effects of the crisis, or even benefit from the changes in the sector. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, 7,878,639 tourists chose Morocco for holidays in 2008, which corresponds to a rise of 6.4% over 2007. But it seems that the tourists decided to shorten their stays, as the number of accommodation establishments registered by night has fallen by 3%.

Marrakech is by far the favorite tourist destination in Morocco. From a total accommodation capacity of 152 936 beds in all of Morocco, 44 394 of them are in Marrakech, which represents almost 30%. The ONMT (Moroccan National Tourist Office), the leading Moroccan tourism administration, said that Morocco has the capacity to cope with the effects of the global economic crisis. One of its main advantages is the proximity of Morocco to the main tourist destination countries, which facilitates movement of passengers whose budget is more limited.

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