Last year was a stellar year for Morocco’s tourism industry. Newly released statistics from Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism reveal the North African nation welcomed an impressive 11.4 million international visitors in 2017.
This is the first time Morocco has posted a number higher than 11 million tourists in its long history. By comparison, 2016’s tourist numbers were 10 percent lower than the 2017 report.
In terms of revenue, the country brought in 69.7 billion Moroccan dirhams from tourism 2017. This is a significant jump from 64.2 billion dirhams in 2016. For point of reference, one dirham is worth 0.11USD.
Morocco’s tourism mecca remains Marrakesh near the Atlas Mountains. Hot sites for visitors in Marrakesh include the Koutoubia Mosque, Jardin Majorelle, and the Souks.
The cities of Fez and Tangiers also posted solid tourism numbers for 2017. One new city that has been attracting a great deal of attention recently, however, is the relatively quiet Saharan town of Ouarzazate.
Travel experts believe Morocco was able to break the 11 million mark last year thanks to increased interest from developing economies like Brazil and China. Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism also showed how people in nations like Germany and France continue to holiday in Morocco in high numbers.
Another reason for this increased tourism traffic may be due to the opening of new affordable flights into Morocco from major European countries. Royal Air Maroc is the nation’s top airline.
Besides agriculture, tourism is the most important industry in Morocco. The 2017 estimate for Morocco’s GDP stands at $300.1 billion and its main exports include textiles, fertilizers, and fruits.