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Analysis

Tourism: Marrakesh creates the event in 2014

Tourism activity in the Moroccan city confirms its recovery thanks to a favorable events calendar. On the first seven months of the year, all indicators are up for both arrivals at the destination and occupancy in the hotel industry.

Marrakesh benefits from a busy agenda. Since the beginning of the year, the Pearl of the South is the venue for several major international events, such as the Marrakesh Air Show in April, the Marrakesh Laughter Festival in June, as well as the National Festival of Popular Art, which combine to make a glowing tourism industry.

According to the Regional Tourism Authority (CRT), arrivals in the destination confirm the recovery of its hotel industry that began in 2013. From January to July 2014 Marrakesh welcomed some 1.08 million tourists, or 9% more than on the same period in 2013. The number of nights registered at tourist accommodations is thus 3.5 million; up 11% over last year. France, Belgium and Spain remain the first three supply markets for the destination, representing 2 million nights on the period. Other markets also progressed such as the United States and Japan.

The hotel industry also benefits from the tourism recovery with steady performances indicators on the first months of the year. According to data published by MKG Hospitality, occupancy rates at properties are up 4.2 points between January and July, to close in on 60%. Hoteliers were also able to increase their average daily rate by 6.7%, to increase their Revenue per available room by 14.7%.

The only disappointment is the drop in hotel results in July. The 7.3% drop in Revenue per available room may be explained by Ramadan, however, which took place for four weeks, discouraging travel by Muslim clientele. August ought to make up for this shortfall.

Marrakesh 's events activity should continue to feed the city's hoteliers, while the new convention center that seats 3,800 - the Mogador Palace Conferences & Exhibitions Center managed by Golden Tulip- was inaugurated in May 2013. The outlook for the market for the rest of the year 2014 is all the more encouraging since some 35 conventions, festivals and other international events are scheduled between September and December.

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