Tourism: a driver of growth
Tourism plays an important role in the Moroccan economy. It is increasingly being considered by senior officials as a strategic sector to promote economic development.
The industry brings into play considerable capital investments, generates substantial revenues, and creates important jobs. Ergo, it is an essential source of foreign currency.
Second contributor to the national GDP and second job creator
Tourism contributes significantly to creating wealth, reducing unemployment and poverty, with a global tourism demand that accounts for 11.4% of GDP. The sector is also a major provider of jobs with 515 000 direct jobs in 2016, which is nearly 5% of jobs in the overall economy.
A major contributor to the balance of payments
Tourism also plays a vital role as the Kingdom’s source for generating foreign currency, together with the remittances of nationals residing abroad. In fact, receipts (excluding international transport) generated by non-resident tourists in Morocco reached nearly Dh 63.2 bn in 2016. These receipts in foreign currency account for about 19%* of exports of goods and services and the travel balance covered 27%* of the trade balance deficits in 2016.
International tourism is up slightly in Morocco
Tourism ended 2016 on a positive note, strengthened by the results achieved during the last months. In fact, non-resident tourist arrivals totalled 10.33m, a 1.5% increase compared to 2015.
A growing bed capacity
At the end of 2016, classified bed capacity attained 242 624 beds, accounting for about 11 290 additional beds compared to 2015. Three, four, and five-star hotels and hotel clubs represent 58% of the overall classified tourism accommodation establishments.
* Source: current account, Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office