The Moroccan tourism sector is on a remarkable upswing, with a 17% increase in arrivals for April 2024 compared to the same month last year. This surge brought the number of visitors to a record 1.3 million for April, according to the Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF).

Record-breaking numbers in early 2024

From January to April 2024, Morocco saw an unprecedented influx of tourists, with arrivals reaching 4.6 million. This figure represents an increase of 567,000 visitors compared to the same period in 2023, as highlighted in the DEPF’s recent economic report.

Steady growth in first quarter 2024

The first quarter of 2024 also showed significant growth in key tourism indicators. Morocco welcomed approximately 3.3 million tourists, marking a 12.8% increase in arrivals. This growth was driven by a 15.4% rise in international tourists and a 9.8% increase in Moroccan expatriates visiting the country.

Increase in overnight stays

The hospitality sector also benefitted, with over 5.5 million overnight stays recorded in classified accommodations by the end of March 2024. This marks a 2.9% year-on-year increase, reflecting a 9% rise in overnight stays by non-residents, although there was a 12% decline in stays by residents.

Mixed financial putcomes

Despite the positive trends in visitor numbers and overnight stays, tourism revenue experienced a slight dip. By the end of March 2024, tourism receipts totaled 23.7 billion dirhams (MMDH), down 5.1% compared to March 2023. However, these revenues were still 44% higher than those in the first quarter of 2019.

Near pre-pandemic recovery

By the end of 2023, the tourism sector had nearly returned to its pre-pandemic levels, achieving an average value-added recovery rate of 98.3%, up from 80.5% the previous year. The sector’s value-added saw substantial growth throughout 2023, with increases of 6.9% in Q4, 11.2% in Q3, 31.2% in Q2, and a significant 53.9% in Q1.