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Allow time for photo animations to load.Morocco boasts important natural and historical assets and a rich and diversified cultural legacy.

Tourist Flow: National tourism has considerably recovered in 1996, after three consecutive years of an activity slump. In 1996, the number of foreign tourists who visited Morocco reached 1,801,165 visitors. Out of this figure, visitors who came on cruise reached 163,193, which is an annual increase of 8.7% while visitors who stayed in Morocco were estimated at 1.6 millions, marking an increase of 7.2% in comparison with the previous year. European tourists exceeded 1.3 million persons, which is an increase of 7.9%. This evolution is the result of more French and German visitors, whose number posted an increase of respectively 17.8% and 31.1%. Meanwhile, the number of Spanish tourists was lower and the decrease was even sharper among English, Italian and American tourists.

Source: Ministry of Tourism, Office National Marocain du Tourisme.
Photos (right) by Muguette Goufrani,
Africa Travel Magazine

Hotel Occupancy
Like arrivals to hotels, nights spent by tourists in various accommodating categories in 1996 increased by 1.5%, with a total of 28,703,206 against 28,266,744 in 1995.
Out of this total, 35.1% nights were spent in graded hotels, which is 10,073,206 against 9,941,390 in 1995, which is an increase of 1.3 %.

Tourism Remittances
Tourism remittances in 1996 were worth 11,789.9 Million DH, increasing by 18.7% in comparison with 1995 (9,928.6 Million DH).

Infrastructure and Investments

By end of 1996, there was a total number 543 graded hotels.

Morocco's accommodation infrastructure was consolidated in 1996 by the launching of 17 hotel projects with a total of 1,512 beds, bringing the total capacity of graded hotels to 92,023 beds.

The total capacity of authorized hotels which received state advantages in 1996 comprises 39 tourism projects. Investments allocated to their constructions are estimated at 1,697 million DH.

In addition, 31 projects for the extension and refurbishment of tourism facilities received the final agreement of the technical coordination committee of tourism projects, for a total investment amount of 561 million DH.

New measures to support tourism were adopted by the authorities. Some hotels were re-graded in the respect of international standards.

In order to improve the competitiveness of enterprises operating in the tourism sector, the VAT applicable to tourism activities was reduced from 14% to 10% starting July 1st, 1996. In addition, laws regulating some tourism-related activities, mainly those regulating the guide profession and travel agencies, were amended.

Lastly, investments in tourism benefit, since the adoption in November 1995 of the investment charter, automatically from the advantages in force, a move likely to promote investments mainly in areas which are still unexploited.

For more information: Ministry of tourism or Office National Marocain du Tourisme

Africa Travel Association
347 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Sixth Cultural and Ecotourism Symposium Fez, Morocco
December 8 through December 13, 2002

(212) 447-1926

Photo Credits: Jerry W. Bird, Scenes of Casablanca