Tourism slows down again
After a slow pick up in the number of arrivals during 2010, 2011 saw very sluggish growth. This was mainly caused by the “Arab Spring”, the Marrakech bombing and the euro crisis affecting the second half of 2011. Growth remained below 1%, with European and Western tourists avoiding the Middle East region for much of the year. This had an impact on Morocco due to its close proximity to Egypt and Libya. Morocco itself remained quiet, except for the bombing that occurred in Marrakech in April 2011. Moroccan expatriates living abroad continued to generate some growth in 2011, and continued growth in outbound and domestic tourism helped some categories survive better than others, such as air transportation and travel retail.
Ambitious government initiatives carry on
While the outlook in 2011 seemed less encouraging than it did just a few months earlier, the Moroccan Government’s ambitious development plans for the country’s industry continued in 2011, with efforts to implement Vision 2020, and the legacy of Vision 2010. While Vision 2010 did not realise all of its objectives, many were attained and have been revisited under Vision 2020. Major delays impacted projects such as the Plan Azur, of which the six planned resorts were not completed on time and continue to suffer from poor management. However, the government continues to seek greater investment from abroad to help complete the projects planned under Vision 2020.
Niche categories emerging
As part of the government’s recent initiatives, some categories are emerging as key areas for growth. These include golf and sports tourism in general, eco-tourism and health and wellness tourism. Golf tourism is being leveraged as a strong revenue generator given the profile of this category’s targeted customers, who are generally high spenders. The natural environment in Morocco is not only ideal for the development of large golf courts, but also for sports such as skiing and trekking in areas such as the Atlas mountains, which are also interesting areas to exploit. Finally, health and wellness tourism is also a growing niche, fuelled by the rising number of resort and hotel spas, as well as by the increasing importance of medical tourism, mainly driven by demand for plastic surgery.
Developing key cities
Morocco is strong in regional tourism promotion for each of its destinations. Leading cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir and Tangiers have their individual tourism promotion boards in charge of boosting tourism flows. These cities’ tourism infrastructure is also constantly being upgraded. Cities from Casablanca to Fès and Agadir are all undergoing major changes and improvements. Other cities are also likely to follow as new plans are laid out for cities such as Tangiers, Tetouan, Rabat and Ouzararate. Vision 2020 focuses on such regional developments as well.
Adding more supply
The travel accommodation category in Morocco is still relatively undersupplied. One of the main targets of Vision 2010 was to add rooms and beds to this environment in order to cater to a growing tourism market, and to address both domestic and international tourism demand. With the new Vision 2020 initiative aiming to bring more than 18 million tourists to Morocco, travel accommodation has to follow. There are a number of new outlets opening across the Kingdom, with a strong luxury orientation in the city of Marrakech, which is set to become home to a Four Seasons, Park Hyatt and Mandarin Oriental. However, budget hotels are also needed in this market, and brands such as Accor’s 2-star Etap are also being developed in Morocco. Plan Azur is also another development set to bring another 180,000 new beds to the market by end of 2020.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Travel and Tourism industry in Morocco with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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When you purchase this report, you also get the data and the content from these category reports in Morocco for free:
Health and Wellness Tourism
Tourism Flows Domestic
Tourism Flows Inbound
Tourism Flows Outbound
The Travel and Tourism in Morocco market research report includes:
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Travel And Tourism market research database.