The latest figures from Morocco's Tourism Observatory show a slight improvement with a total of 10.3 million tourists visiting Morocco during 2016, up 1.5% from 2015. The number of foreign tourists decreased by 0.9%, while arrivals of Moroccans living abroad increased by 4%
Spanish, Dutch and Belgian tourist arrivals increased by 2%, 3% and 2% respectively, the observatory said, adding that arrivals from the United Kingdom, Germany and France showed decreases of 6%, 2% and 1%.
The biggest gains have been in the Chinese and Russian markets which showed increases by 32,329 and 23,921 of arrivals compared to 2015.
Tourist accommodation professionals point out that total overnight stays in classified accommodation establishments increased by 4.5% compared to the end of 2015 , Reflecting a 1.4% increase in non-resident tourists and an 11% increase in residents.
The two tourist centres of Marrakesh and Agadir, alone accounted for 60% of total overnight stays in the past year, registering increases of 6% and 4%, respectively, the observatory said.
Other destinations posted contrasting results, with Casablanca (+ 6%) and Tangier (+ 9%), but stagnation in Rabat and a decline in Fes (-6%). Questions are being asked about why Fez is so quiet - given it is one of the most intriguing places in Morocco!
The occupancy rate, which stands at 40% until the end of December 2016, has remained unchanged compared to the same period in 2015, the statistics show.
At the end of 2016, revenues generated by the tourist activity of non-residents in Morocco amounted to 63.24 billion dirhams against 61.15 in 2015, an increase of 3.4%.
During the month of November 2016, the number of tourist arrivals at border posts increased by 11.2% compared with 2015 + 14.4% for foreign tourists and 7.4% for Moroccans resident abroad.