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Gazette Premium Content Morocco sees record 2013 tourism; 10M visitors

Associated Press Updated: March 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco's tourism minister says a record-breaking 10 million people visited the North African country in 2013, indicating the industry is recovering from the setbacks of the Arab Spring revolutions.

After several years of flat growth, Morocco on Tuesday reported a 7.2 percent increase in arrivals since 2012.

Morocco, whose beaches, exotic cities and pristine mountains are popular among Europeans, relies on tourism for 10 percent of its GDP, the second-largest contributor after agriculture.

Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad reported a 9 percent increase in the number of nights in tourist hotels but earnings were nearly the same as 2012 at $7.2 billion. He predicted another 8 percent increase for arrivals in 2014.

Tourism dropped across North Africa amid the unrest generated by the Arab Spring revolutions, especially in Tunisia and Egypt.

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