The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a fall of 78.5 percent in tourist arrivals to Morocco in 2020, against an increase of 5 percent a year earlier, according to a periodical report published by the Ministry of Finance on Friday.
Tourist arrivals fell by 79.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a drop of 92 percent in foreign tourists arrivals, and of 59 percent in Moroccans living abroad, the report added.
In a previous report published in February, the Ministry of finance said the country’s tourism revenues decreased by 4.9 billion U.S. dollars, with a loss of more than 8 million visitors during the year 2020.
The first quarter of 2021, is expected to follow the same downward trend, as the North African country has suspended since March 15 all maritime links and passenger flights to and from more than 50 countries to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 variants.
Morocco’s economy relies heavily on tourism, which took up 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2019.
It is also of the country’s main sources of foreign currency and creates nearly 550,000 direct jobs annually.