Tourism: Morocco is doing well in a global market still recovering

At the end of March 2023, Morocco welcomed 2.9 million tourists, an increase of 17% compared to the same period of 2019. Revenues reached the record figure of 25 billion dirhams, up 51 % compared to 2019, indicates a press release from the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts and the Social and Solidarity Economy. At the same time, and according to the world tourism barometer produced by the World Tourism Organization, world arrivals in the 1st quarter of 2023 are down 20% compared to 2019. Apart from the Middle East, which is up 15%, all regions of the world continue to show double-digit declines, thus testifying to the difficulty of recovering arrivals in an increasingly competitive world arena (-10% for Europe, -46% for Asia, -14% for America, -12% for Africa…). And the situation is expected to continue into 2023. According to forward-looking scenarios drawn up by the UNWTO for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of their pre-pandemic levels this year. Commenting on the performance of Morocco as a destination, Tourism Minister Fatim-Zahra Ammor recalled that “our country made the right decisions at the right time”. “The sector has been made a national priority and all the actions implemented have made it possible not only to strengthen the resilience of the sector during the crisis but also to accelerate recovery, despite a difficult international economic context”, said the minister, quoted in a press release. Emerging from the crisis stronger, Morocco now aims to position itself among the greatest tourist destinations in the world. To do this, last March it adopted a new strategic roadmap for 2023-2026, with a budget of 6.1 billion dirhams. It aims, as a reminder, to attract 17.5 million tourists by 2026, to reach 120 billion in foreign exchange earnings, to create 80,000 direct and 120,000 indirect jobs, in addition to repositioning tourism as a sector key in the national economy.