Head of the Government of Morocco receives UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism
PR No.: PR 14072
In recognition of tourism’s role as a vital driver of socio-economic development, the Head of the Government of Morocco, H.E. Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, received the UNWTO/ World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism (Rabat, Morocco, 29 September 2014).
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter calls on government leaders worldwide to acknowledge tourism's key role in delivering a more sustainable and balanced growth and to prioritize the sector in national policies in order to maximize the sector’s potential for development.
Prime Minister Benkiran received the Open Letter as a sign of further committment by the Moroccan government to prioritize tourism development in line with the country’s Vision 2020 tourism strategy. Tourism is Morocco’s top earner of foreign exchange, its second biggest contributor to GDP and the second biggest job creator.
“Morocco has done remarkable work in making tourism a national priority and as a result, it is now one of the driving forces of the country’s economy”, said Mr. Rifai. ”By accepting this Open Letter, the Government of Morocco is reinforcing its exemplary commitment to the development of the sector, in Morocco and around the world”, he added.
David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC, added; “Travel and Tourism contributed 8.6% of Morocco’s economy last year at MAD76.1bn and this contribution is forecast to rise by a further 8.1% in 2014. The growth prospects for the sector in Morocco are excellent and it is great to see the country focusing on social and economic policies, including excellent sustainable tourism initiatives.”
The Open Letter was presented by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai to H.E. Mr. Benkiran on the occasion of the 11th edition of Morocco’s Tourism Conference in Rabat, in the presence of Mr. Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism of Morocco, José Manuel Soria Lopes, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain, Amal Karboul, Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, and a wide range of Moroccan tourism stakeholders.
In 2013, Morocco received 10 million international tourists up from 4.8 million in 2003. International tourism generated US$ 6.9 billion in receipts in 2013, more than double the value registered a decade ago (US$ 3.2 billion).
Note to Editors:
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy. To date, the Open Letter has been received by 68 Heads of State and Government.
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