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3 million visitors place Marrakech at the forefront of the most attractive cities for tourists

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Over the past year, the Red City of Marrakech attracted about three million tourists of various nationalities, thus maintaining its lead among the most attractive cities for tourists in the Kingdom.

According to data issued by the Regional Observatory of Tourism in Marrakech, the number of tourists who visited the city during the year 2019 reached about three million tourists of different nationalities, which represents an increase of about 8 percent compared to 2018.

The performance of the city has exceeded twice the average rate of global tourism growth, according to statistics of the World Tourism Organization. The city also recorded more than 8 million overnight stays during the past year, with a filling rate of 61 percent.

This figure, achieved by Marrakesh, indicates that the tourism sector in Morocco has not succeeded in reducing its regional focus. The city of Al-Hamra still attracts about 30% of tourists, and Agadir 16%, which prevented the emergence of other destinations such as Casablanca, which attracts 8% and Tangier. 5%, Fez 4%.

The number of tourists coming to Morocco, according to previous official figures, reached about 12.3 million in 2018; but this number also includes Moroccans residing abroad by about 5 million, which means that the number of foreign tourists is less.

This number remains weak in terms of the number of tourists compared to the goals that were set in many strategies that were seeking to attract 20 million tourists by the year 2020, despite the natural qualifications and favorable climatic conditions in which Morocco abounds.

A previous report of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform had recommended to the authorities to prepare a new and innovative tourism offer for the post-2020 period, taking into account social and economic transformations and global market prospects.

The report, which was issued at the end of last year, called for designing a new scheme for the development of tourism in the coming years by taking into account the emergence of tourism for the elderly, especially since the number of the world’s older population (60 and over) will increase by 33 percent between 2020 and 2030.

The tourism sector in Morocco suffers from limited coordination between all actors, especially at the regional level, in addition to the problem of the informal sector, not to mention the weak loans granted to hotels and restaurants, which do not exceed 2.5% of the total loans.

A number of studies recommend that the parties should be made the basic starting point for drawing a tourism vision that adapts to its cultural heritage and its functional potential, with the aim of creating diverse and competitive tourism poles and achieving a balanced territorial distribution of national tourism.

The tourism sector in Morocco should also take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital revolution, by encouraging engaging in websites specializing in accommodation and making it a way to promote the local tourism offer.

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