Tourism Tattler - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

Morocco had a tough year in 2016 with a se­vere drought which se­verely af­fected agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the World­bank, the over­all GDP growth dropped down to 1.1% in 2016, with a record low of 0.5% in the sec­ond quar­ter of the year. How­ever, Morocco is still an es­tab­lished tourism des­ti­na­tion. Af­ter a drop in REVPAR in 2016 due to the threat of ter­ror­ism in Europe, 2017 shows a re­gain of in­ter­est from in­ter­na­tional tourists, no­tably from China and Rus­sia. The de­ci­sion of King Mo­hammed VI to ex­empt Chi­nese cit­i­zens from visa re­quire­ments from June 2016 boosted the tourism in­dus­try in the coun­try: monthly ar­rivals from China were mul­ti­plied by six from this date. Ad­di­tion­ally, the gov­ern­ment plans to in­vest time, money and ef­forts to pro­mote the tourism in­dus­try: new air­ports are ex­pected to open in 2017 to sup­port do­mes­tic ac­ces­si­bil­ity and the Morocco Vi­sion 2020 strat­egy aims to dou­ble the size of the tourism in­dus­try by 2020.

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