The 2017 edition of Hotelier Summit Africa (North) will serve as a forum for real estate and hospitality professionals looking to develop and operate new hotels across Morocco, with the country’s tourism industry supporting the hospitality and construction industries.

“Due to an overall international confidence in Morocco as a vacation destination, the Moroccan tourism sector has been able to bring in record-breaking revenue in the last few months of 2016.” 

The growing tourism industry in Morocco has resulted in the construction of many new hospitality facilities such as the Story Rabat Boutique Hotels one of the best places to stay in Morocco, and we’re sure that this trend will continue in the coming years,” said Ravi Kumar Chandran, director of IDE, the organizers of the Hotelier Summit Africa (North).

Morocco’s tourism industry:

Morocco’s tourism industry grew significantly in the first quarter of this year. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists entering the country increased by 10.6% in February, with overnight hotel stays rising by 18.8%. 

Since November 2016, the sector has been producing positive results. Morocco’s tourist numbers increased in both traditional and emerging markets.

France had a 6% increase in tourists, Spain had a 22% increase, Germany had a 19% increase, and the United Kingdom had a 7% increase.

The number of tourists from China increased by 92 percent, 82 percent from Russia, 62 percent from Japan, 32 percent from the United States, 20 percent from Canada, and 17 percent from other African countries in emerging markets.

The tourism industry in Morocco has had an outstanding first half this year. Given the revenue produced by this industry, boosted by thehotels in Rabat and the best clubs in Marrakech, hoteliers consider the competitive and foreign tourism industry to be lucrative,” Chandran added.

“The 2017 edition of Hotelier Summit Africa (North) will provide an opportunity for professionals to meet, engage, and network with high-profile industry experts while also shedding light on the faltering tourism industry.

Overall, the Summit will serve as a strategic forum for the hospitality and real estate industries to achieve prosperity, competitiveness, and innovation,” he concluded.

The economic impact of tourism

Tourism-related GDP increased by 6.2 percent in 2018, reaching MAD 76.9 billion, up from MAD 72.4 billion in 2017. Its contribution to national GDP increased to 6.9%, up from 6.8% the year before.

Because of its ability to generate new employment, contribute to economic and social growth, and bring in foreign currency, tourism plays an important role in the Moroccan economy.

In 2018, foreign visitors to Morocco produced nearly MAD 89 billion in revenue (including international transport). In 2018, this accounted for nearly 51% of service exports. With 550 000 direct jobs in 2018, the tourism sector is an excellent source of employment in Morocco, accounting for 5% of total employment.

In 2018, the country welcomed 12.3 million foreign visitors. With 57.5 percent of the market share, France, Spain, and Germany remain the top three source markets.

Between 2017 and 2018, the major inbound markets all increased, with residents from Germany increasing by 10.1 percent, France by 7.6 percent, Spain by 6.4 percent, and the United Kingdom by 3.8 percent. Newer markets, such as the United States, China, Poland, and Brazil, have performed well.

Internal tourism spending in 2018 was projected to be MAD 131 billion, up 5.4 percent from 2017. Domestic tourism spending increased by 4.4 percent to MAD 41 billion.

Overnight stays in listed tourism accommodation establishments increased by 8.7% in 2018 (after increasing by 14.8% from 2016 to 2017), owing to a 12.1 percent rise in non-resident overnight stays.

Residents accounted for 30% of the total overnight stays in hotels and similar establishments reported in 2018, totaling 24 million nights. In 2018, there were 3.2 million domestic visitors, up 4.1 percent from 2017.

Governance and finance in the tourism industry

Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism, through the Department of Tourism, establishes and implements the country’s tourism strategy.

It has a General Secretariat, an Inspectorate General, and other executive directorates that are responsible for policy and cooperation, regulation production, efficiency, personnel, and training.

The Department of Tourism oversees the National Moroccan Tourist Office, which promotes, commercializes, and develops Morocco as a tourist destination while also encouraging air travel; and the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Growth, which promotes investment opportunities and provides advice to investors and operators in the tourism industry.

A federal structure, consisting of seven regional offices and 18 provincial units, supports the Department of Tourism. Their primary responsibilities include ensuring the quality of tourist activities and tracking the production of tourist products at the regional and local levels. 

They collaborate with a variety of local governments and tourism stakeholders to ensure that the industry expands evenly and reliably at the regional and local levels.

In 2017, the Ministry of Tourism extended its mandate to include the aviation sector, resulting in the creation of two new structures: the National Office of Airports, which oversees airport management, and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, which is responsible for civil aviation missions.

The National Confederation of Tourism serves as a bridge between the public and private sectors. The Confederation aims to promote the private sector and to link all tourism professions at the national level through the industry’s national federations. 

Hotels, travel agencies, car rental firms, restaurants, tour and mountain guides, tour operators, and investors are all represented by the Confederation.

Regional tourism councils bring together private and public sector practitioners with the aim of assisting destinations by improving and promoting Morocco’s tourism offer both nationally and internationally.

The Ministry of Tourism’s budget comes from the national budget and totaled MAD 860 million in 2019, up 41% from 2018. Central Administration, regional and provincial delegations (39 percent); Moroccan National Tourist Office (35 percent); Moroccan Society for Tourism Engineering (19 percent); and training schools are among the institutions under the Ministry’s control (7 percent ).

Morocco’s Regulatory Reform

One of the Department of Tourism’s strategic goals in Morocco is regulatory reform. It hopes to boost the competitiveness of tourism companies as a result of this to face the sector’s challenges.

The regulatory reform of tourism legislation aims to create a quality culture within tourist establishments and to improve the professionalism and structure of tourist activities. 

Updates and amendments to regulations have been made in various tourism markets, such as travel agents, visitor establishments, and lodging, to date.

The Department of Tourism began a review of licensing for city guides, tour guides, and nature guides in February 2018, in compliance with current laws. 

At the program’s end, 1 108 guides had been certified, with 905 in the category of city and tour guides and 203 in the category of natural area guides.

This initiative also promoted the hiring of guides who could speak Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Dutch, and Portuguese.