The first quarter of 2023 saw a record number of tourists arriving in Morocco, with the latest figures from the tourism ministry revealing that 2.9 million visitors came to the country during this period.
In a statement, the ministry noted that tourism in Morocco is reaching unprecedented levels, as evidenced by the exceptional figures recorded in March 2023. This represents a significant increase of 17% compared to the first quarter of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The growth in outbound tourism markets, particularly from Spain, Britain, Italy, and the United States, is attributed to the upward trend, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Tourism, Handicraft, and Social and Solidarity Economy.
To further boost tourism, the ministry has launched a new roadmap aimed at attracting 17.5 million tourists and creating 200,000 new jobs by 2026. This builds on various initiatives carried out with the National Tourism Office (ONMT), with efforts focused on improving marketing and reinforcing air connectivity throughout 2023.
The ONMT is working towards positioning Morocco among the world’s Top 10 destinations through its newly developed 2023-2026 action plan called “Light in Action”.
Tourism is an essential sector of the Moroccan economy, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP and employment. In 2019, the tourism industry accounted for 7.2% of Morocco’s GDP and provided employment to about 2.5 million people. Yet, Morocco plans more investment into Tourism to compete against regional competitors. According to the government, Morocco has announced a plan to invest 6.1 billion dirhams ($580 million) in developing its tourism industry up until 2026.
Furthermore, tourism is one of Morocco’s primary sources of foreign exchange earnings, as it generates significant revenue through the expenditure of tourists on accommodation, food, transportation, and other tourism-related services. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, the tourism industry’s revenue was 78.6 billion dirhams in 2019, representing a 5.2% increase compared to the previous year.