Posted by: Morocco World News

Rabat – 2017 was a record year for Marrakech’s tourism. For the first time in history, the ocher city crossed the threshold of 2 million tourists welcomed in a year and more than 6 million overnight stays.

According to the figures of the Regional Tourism Center of Marrakech, the city recorded a growth of 20 percent of arrivals in 2017 and 18 percent of overnight stays, which allowed it to improve its occupancy rate by 4 points to 56 percent.

By market, the strongest growth was recorded by Germany with 56 percent, followed by Spain with 38 percent, Italy with a 28 percent increase, France with 19 percent, and the local market with a 15 percent increase.

On the international level, Marrakech ranked 6th in the most visited cities by the French during 2017, according to travel guide website Routard which is based on the booking data of the Skyscanner site.

The Moroccan tourist capital finishes at the 1st place of the most visited cities by French nationals in Africa and the Maghreb, behind by Bangkok, London, Lisbon, New York and Barcelona, ??and ahead of Tunis, Madrid and Rome. The average length of stay of French for a short-haul flight is 6 days, while the average length of the long-haul stay is 18 days, reports the same source.

In fact, 2018 will see the creation of more than 13 tourism projects in the ocher city, which will reinforce the tourism offer at the level of Marrakech.

“Marrakech has been able to develop its product through the creation of 22,500 beds since 2010, due to the increase in investment and the support and monitoring of tourism projects,” said the regional tourism delegate in Marrakesh, Fadoua Chbani Idrissi to the Maghreb Arab Press Agency (MAP).

Chbani added that as part of its efforts to improve the tourist environment, the delegation, in collaboration with its partners, has since 2014 been conducting a fierce search for informal accommodation establishments and was able to regularize the situation of more than 300 unclassified guesthouses.

Morocco also ranked high among the destinations favored by Belgian tourists at this end of 2017, reported Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

“Barely present in recent weeks in the Belgian sky, the sun attracts Belgian holidaymakers as a magnet in this end of year period. At the expense of snow and ski resorts that resist somehow,” adds the newspaper, based on the first trends that emerge among the main tour operators active in Belgium.

The most popular destinations go by air, with 44 percent of trips, said Nathalie Meert, spokesman for tour operator Thomas Cook, quoted by the newspaper. She said short-haul flights to the south, including Spain, the Canary Islands, and Morocco, won the most votes.

By Chaima Lahsini