International Tourist Arrivals Reach 11.35 Million In Morocco
Nearly 4.31 million tourists visited Morocco between January and May 2019, an increase of 4.6% compared to the same period a year earlier (+4.5% for foreign tourists and +5% for Moroccans residing abroad), according to the Tourism Observatory.
"The growth of tourism in recent years confirms that the sector is now one of the most powerful engines of economic growth and development.
It is our responsibility to manage this growth in a sustainable manner and translate it into concrete benefits for all countries, in particular for all local populations, through job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities, without leaving anyone behind," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, adding: "For this reason, UNWTO will focus on education, skills and job creation in 2019". The long-term prospective study published by UNWTO in 2010 predicted that the level of 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals would be reached in 2020 worldwide.
Growth has accelerated in recent years, driven by stronger economic expansion, more affordable air fares, technological change, new business models and progress in visa facilitation around the world.
Results by region:
International tourist arrivals in Europe reached 713 million in 2018, a remarkable 6% increase after an extremely favourable year 2017. Growth was driven by Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+7%), Central and Eastern Europe (+6%) and Western Europe (+6%). Results in Northern Europe were flat due to low inflows into the UK.
Asia-Pacific (+6%) recorded 343 million international tourist arrivals in 2018.
Arrivals in South-East Asia increased by 7%, followed by North-East Asia (+6%) and South Asia (+5%).
Oceania experienced more moderate growth (+3%).
The Americas (+3%) received 217 million international arrivals in 2018, with results varying from one destination to another. North America led the way in growth (+4%), followed by South America (+3%), while Central America and the Caribbean (-2%) had very mixed results, with the Caribbean suffering the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
Data from Africa show a 7% growth in 2018 (+10% for North Africa and +6% for sub-Saharan Africa), with an estimated total of 67 million arrivals.
The Middle East (+10%) posted solid results in 2018, consolidating the recovery of 2017, with 64 million international tourist arrivals.
In 2019, growth is expected to return to its historical trend. Based on current trends, the economic outlook and the confidence index established by the LMO, the LMO expects international arrivals to grow by between 3% and 4% next year, more in line with historical growth trends.
In general, stable fuel prices make air fares more affordable and, at the same time, air connectivity is steadily improving in many destinations, diversifying outbound markets.
Trends also point to significant volumes of outbound tourism from emerging markets, particularly India and the Russian Federation, but also from smaller outbound markets in Asia and the Arab countries.
At the same time, the global economic slowdown, uncertainties surrounding Brexit and geopolitical and commercial tensions may lead investors and travellers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
Overall, 2019 is expected to confirm certain trends that are emerging among consumers, such as the search for travel that transforms them and their way of seeing; the search for healthier activities such as hiking, wellness or sports tourism; multi-generational travel, due to demographic changes; and more responsible travel. "Digitisation, new business models, more affordable travel and societal changes are expected to continue to shape our industry. Destinations, like businesses, must adapt to remain competitive," Pololikashvili added.
Source: World Tourism Organization.
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