The COVID-19 pandemic caused a devastating blow to the Moroccan tourism sector, but it has risen from the ashes and continues the positive trend that began in January. The Moroccan tourism statistics published by the Observatoire du Tourisme for June 2023 have confirmed the upward trend observed in the first half of the year, now boosted by the arrival of summer.
The year's first half has been a resounding success, with an upturn in global tourism and industry measures. Optimism is in order. We look forward to an exceptional summer season and a historic first half-year regarding foreign arrivals, overnight stays, and foreign currency earnings. Border crossings in Morocco saw a sharp 20% increase, with tourist arrivals reaching around 1.4 million in June 2022.
According to the monthly scoreboard, the Observatoire du Tourisme, Europe, and North America were the main source markets contributing to Moroccan tourism’s performance.
By the first half of 2023, border crossings saw an astounding 92% increase in tourist arrivals, totaling around 6.5 million people. This represents an additional 3 million tourists compared with the first half 2022.
Tourist accommodation professionals reported a 23% increase in overnight stays achieved in June 2023 in classified establishments, with 34% of the rise attributed to non-resident tourists and 69% to Morocco's residents.
During the first month of summer, all the main destinations recorded positive performances compared with June 2022: Marrakech (+33 %), Agadir (+13 %), Casablanca (+17 %), Tangier (+5 %), and Rabat (+14 %).
In addition, overnight stays in classified establishments in the first half of 2023 were up 86% compared to the first half of 2022, with a growth of 134% for foreign tourists and 25% for residents.
Over the past six months, all major tourist destinations recorded positive results compared with the first six months of 2022. This included Marrakech growing by 115%, Agadir by 80%, Casablanca by 63%, Tangier by 58%, Fez by 75% and Rabat by 49%.
According to experts, this dynamic will enable us to attract at least 14 million visitors and generate 110 billion MAD (about US$ 11 billion) in revenue.
The Moroccan tourism sector's roadmap aims to attract 17.5 million tourists, achieve 120 billion MAD in foreign currency earnings, create 80,000 direct and 120,000 indirect jobs, and reposition tourism as a critical sector in the national economy by 2026.