Morocco is expecting to receive 11 million tourists in 2014 for total generated revenues of 61 billion dirhams or 5.4 billion euros. The kingdom has already outclassed Egypt in 2013 and is now behind South Africa in second position in the continent. All of this was done without having to cut prices as in Tunisia and Egypt.
Tunisia has recorded a total number of 7.3 million tourists in 2013, from which 3.2 million are Libyan refugees. Tourist arrivals in Egypt dropped by 40% between 2010 and 2013 and went from 15 million to 9 million. The attacks in Sinai and the riots in Cairo resulted in a 43% drop in touristic revenues in Egypt during the first trimester of 2014.
Morocco’s political stability and security has been key to this success. Tourism is a pillar of the Moroccan economy and represents 7.5% of its total GDP. It is also one of the biggest sources of foreign currency; key to keep the country’s balance of payments afloat. An investment fund of over 2 billion euros was made in late 2011 along with the Gulf countries. State-owned company “Société Marocaine d’Ingénierie Touristique (SMIT)” plans to invest nearly 6 billion euros as part of the development plan known as “Vision 2020”, whose objective is to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.
Morocco plans to increase its hosting capacity by 200000 beds. It also plans on building large projects: a “city of leisure” is under construction in Agadir, “Resort of the Desert” in Dakhla and a theme park “Culture of Morocco” in Marrakech.
A major number of tourists visiting Morocco come from France, Spain, Italy, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Moroccan Times.