Of all the destinations in the northern Africa and Mediterranean region, the Moroccan market is the one that is doing best in tourism.
According to a recent benchmark, conducted by the Department of Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, all indicators are positive.
Indeed, 2.4 million tourists opted for Morocco as their tourist destination in April. The number of arrivals grew by 10.7% in comparison to nearly 2.15 million arrivals in April 2009. In terms of nights, it represents nearly 5.4 million, and revenue of 1.28 billion Euros.
Yassir Zenagui, Moroccan Minister of Tourism, told the local newspaper 'The Economist' that in the beginning of 2010, revenues made of foreign tourists amounted to 900 million Euros, marking an increase of 16% compared to the same period last year. He also added that this year 9.4 million tourists are expected to visit the country, including the Moroccans residing abroad, thus fulfilling the goal set by the Ministry of Tourism at 94%.
In the context of sluggish economic growth, world tourism is strongly affected by the economical crisis. However, Morocco continues to show strong growth in its various indicators. Conversely, almost all the other destinations in the area are experiencing a significant decline in their arrivals and revenue.
Among the countries surveyed, only Turkey has experienced an increase in arrivals. The country recorded strong growth by 10.7% in late April 2010 comparing to the first four months of 2009. However, revenues do not correspond to the growth. In the same period, they fell by 1% from 2.66 billion Euros in 2009 to nearly 2.6 billion Euros in 2010.
For Tunisia, the arrivals have been marked by a decrease of 3.6% meaning nearly 60,000 fewer incoming tourists. Arrivals totaled 1.59 million at the end of April 2010 against 1.65 million for the same period in 2009.
Not far from the Atlantic coast, the Canary Islands have the largest revenue among countries of the region, far ahead of Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia. The country recorded 3.21 billion Euros, despite the relatively limited arrivals (1.9 million less than Turkey). However, in the period of January to April 2010, arrivals as well as revenue have decreased compared to the same period in 2009.