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Tourism: the gradual recovery is confirmed

Travel receipts stood at 9.70 billion dirhams at the end of March 2022. This reflects the recovery in tourist activity, which, although still shy compared to the first quarter of the past year, is nevertheless part of the a global uptrend.

The richness of Morocco as a destination arouses interest despite the uncertainties and restrictions that still hover over the sector. If we are still very far from the near-Covid rush, the fact remains that the gradual revival of tourist activity is confirmed. Severely affected by the global health crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Morocco destination is now regaining momentum.

From Marrakech to Agadir, via the cities of the north of the Kingdom, attendance is constantly increasing, as evidenced by travel receipts which stood at 9.70 billion dirhams (MMDH) at the end of March 2022, marking an increase by 79.6% compared to the same period in 2021, according to statistics from the Foreign Exchange Office.

Nevertheless, these figures are down 43.6% compared to the first quarter of 2020 (before the first confinement), indicates the Office in its recent note on the monthly indicators of foreign trade, adding that expenditure has increased by 30.1%. Thus, the excess balance of travel, the main component of trade in services, more than doubled, standing at 6.85 billion dirhams at the end of March 2022 against 3.21 billion dirhams at the end of March 2021.

In addition, the Office reports that the balance of trade in services posted a surplus up 70.1% at the end of March 2022, to 16.71 billion dirhams, against 9.82 billion dirhams a year earlier. This increase follows a 28.4% increase in exports, to 36.18 billion dirhams, greater than that of imports which was only 6.1%, the same source said.

These results should be better in the months to come in view of the efforts made by the operators and the supervisory authorities, in terms of marketing, in order to revive the enthusiasm around the Moroccan tourist offer. An instructive example is the international campaign “Terre de Lumière”, launched on April 22 by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT).

It is an “offensive” deployed in 20 targeted countries on four continents. This campaign, which sublimates the country, is already having a considerable impact on target audiences in strategic markets, the objective being to make Morocco an iconic and inspiring global brand, placing it among the favorite tourist destinations of travelers from all over the world. world.

To do this, the ONMT teams are relying on the new trending process of the moment, digital Out Of Home (DOOH), used for urban display. It should be noted that the Office targets international tourists whose age range is between 25 and 59 years showing an interest in art, cultural experiences, nature and rural heritage as well as beaches and hobbies.

Let us recall that the “Land of Light” campaign was launched by the ONMT simultaneously in 20 countries, including France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA, Israel as well as certain States of the Middle and Near East, and sub-Saharan Africa, which is a first in history. Through digital, television, billboards and the press, the objective is to achieve a maximum level of notoriety, visibility, coverage and frequency in order to provoke engagement with tourists from all over the world.

This seduction operation was launched in a particular context marked by the resumption of local and international tourist activities, after two years of crisis and paralysis of the sector. Today, almost everywhere in the world, the trend is on the rise for all destinations.

In China, where the health crisis is still ongoing, a total of 160 million tourist trips were recorded during the five-day International Workers’ Day holiday (April 30 to May 4), a drop of 30 .2% compared to last year’s level. Tourism revenue reached about $9.77 billion, down 42.9 percent from a year ago.

The online accommodation booking platform Airbnb published better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday with record bookings and expects sustained demand until the end of the year. In the first three months of the year, the San Francisco group recorded 102 million room nights and activities (also called “experiences”) booked, more than any previous quarter.

This is 34% more than for the same period of 2019, which Airbnb has now chosen as a basis for comparison, arguing that 2020 and 2021 had been atypical years, marked by the coronavirus pandemic. The turnover is 80% higher than that of the first quarter of 2019 and 70% over one year, at 1.5 billion dollars, better than expected by analysts.

A trend that would also benefit Morocco as a destination. Moreover, for the year 2022, the ONMT forecasts growth in international tourist arrivals ranging from +30% to +78% compared to 2021. However, these levels will remain lower by 50% to 63% than those recorded. before the pandemic.

Khadim Mbaye / ECO Inspirations



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