Morocco 3rd most visited Arab country in 2022

Since the lifting of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic crisis, the tourism sector is finally regaining its good momentum in Morocco. The Kingdom was ranked 3rd among the most visited Arab countries in 2022 with 11 million tourists, according to a report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

According to UNWTO figures, Saudi Arabia tops the list with 18 million incoming visitors, thanks to the pilgrimage period. Furthermore, the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia has seen an exponential growth of 121% compared to pre-pandemic international tourism. The United Arab Emirates follows in second place with nearly 15 million visitors.

In the list of countries, it is worth highlighting the position of Syria which, despite the tensions and crises that the country has been going through for more than a decade, has received around 8.5 million people, making it the fourth country in the Arab world with the highest number of tourists.

Thanks to the strategy adopted by the supervisory ministry, Morocco found itself in 3rd position in the UNWTO barometer for 2022 for its revenue-based performance, achieving a growth of 6% compared to 2019 and ranking among the top 10 in the world.

Indeed, with the lifting of travel restrictions, more tourists have traveled to Morocco. In September, Morocco’s National Airports Office (ONDA) announced that PCR tests and vaccines would no longer be mandatory to enter the country, removing one of the main barriers for tourists.

On the other hand, the Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social Economy, Fatim-Zahra Ammor, had affirmed that the national airports recovered 82.12% of their traffic and 83.02% of their movements. airports in 2022 compared to 2019, tourist accommodation establishments (EHT) are, for their part, at 84% of their activity.

She notably indicated that travel receipts exceeded their pre-pandemic level, i.e. 112% at the end of November 2022 and managed to accumulate an amount of 81.7 billion dirhams during the first 11 months of 2022, noting the sector ended the year to more than 18.5 million overnight stays, i.e. more than 73% recovery rate.

The UNWTO added that Europe and the Middle East could return to pre-pandemic tourism levels in 2023, with countries such as Morocco, Turkey and France seeing a significant recovery in tourism figures. The Moroccan tourism sector has indeed shown signs of recovery during the year after being severely hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That said, according to forward-looking scenarios compiled by the UNWTO for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of their pre-pandemic levels this year, depending on the extent of the economic downturn. , the ongoing resumption of Asia-Pacific travel and developments in the Russian-Ukrainian dossier, among other factors.

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