According to the Morocco’s Tourism Ministry, the tourism income – due to non-resident tourists – rose to 53.7 billion dirhams (5.65 billion dollars), in the first 9 months on this year – an increase of 4.6% compared to the same period in 2016.
A total of 8.858 million visitors came to Morocco between January and September 2017 – an increase of 9%. The part represented by foreign tourists increased by 13.2% and the part represented by Moroccans living abroad increased by 5.2% according to the Ministry's statement.
The increase in Morocco’s tourism has been due to increased performance in the kingdom's primary issuing markets, namely Germany (+13%), Netherlands (+8%), Spain (+8%) as well as in "emerging" markets such as China (+242%) and Japan (+40%).
It should be noted that the number of nights spent in registered tourist accommodations – up by 15% - has been positively affected by this increased tourist volume. The Moroccan destinations with the highest tourist appeal have been: Fes (+35%), Tangier (+25%), Marrakech (+18%) and Agadir (+12%).
In comparison, Tunisian tourism – hit hard by the 2015 Bardo and Sousse terrorist attacks – has also begun to recover and has posted its highest revenue in 6 years: 2.4 billion dinars for the period spanning January to the 31st of October 2017. However, Tunisia is still a long way from rivaling Morocco's performance. While Morocco had the foresight of investing in high-end tourism early on and has now reached cruising speed, Tunisia is a latecomer to the game and is still developing its Hammamet and Gammarth mega-projects.