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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2013 -- The Morocco Tourism Report examines the long-term potential offered by the country but cautions that the economic crisis in the eurozone will continue to weigh on short-term inbound tourism demand. This means overall tourist arrivals and receipt growth rates could well slow over 2013.
The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by some of the leading players in the local tourism sector (ie: airlines and hotel chains) as they seek to maximise the long-term growth opportunities offered by the Moroccan market.
In 2011, Morocco welcomed 9,342,302 tourists, an increase of 0.6% compared to 2010, according to information from the Ministry of Tourism. This was a disappointing outcome and reflected several factors: first, the economic crisis in the eurozone weighed on outbound tourism demand from the key source markets of France and Spain; second, the after-effects of the April 2011 suicide bomb attack on a popular tourist cafe in Marrakech, which killed 16 people; and third, uncertainty ahead of the parliamentary election of November 2011 - a period marked by several demonstrations across the country.
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Although the election passed peacefully, BMI believes the other two negative factors (eurozone slowdown and lasting impact of Marrakech attack) will endure across 2012. Early indications are not encouraging, with arrivals for January-April reportedly down by 4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 2.52mn, according to a report in the La Vie Eco newspaper in June. Passenger traffic at Moroccan airports was also down, by 4.73% y-o-y, over the January-August. Given this poor start to the year, BMI forecasts that there will be a 5% decrease in tourist arrivals for 2012 and a 7% fall in tourism revenue.
Over the past year, BMI has revised the following forecasts and views:
- BMI has become more negative on the outlook for Moroccan tourism, forecasting that growth rates for inbound tourism will slow to an average of 4.8% per annum across the new, extended forecast period to 2017, with risks to the downside if Europe's economy remains depressed.
- BMI believes Ryanair's decision to stop 34 weekly flights to and from Morocco in October 2012 will have a negative impact on inbound tourism arrivals, though other low-cost carriers are reportedly looking to take over from Ryanair on some services.
- BMI is also concerned that the tourism sector is not being as strongly promoted as it has been in recent years by the authorities. This is reflected in the lack of up-to-date data available through official government channels on key variables such as tourism arrivals and national hotel room capacity.
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