Rabat – Morocco seeks to build on the positive performance of the tourism sector in 2016 and attract more tourists in 2017.Moroccan tourism activity recorded very positive results in February, with a 10.6 percent increase in arrivals at border crossings and 18.8 percent in overnight stays in tourist accommodation establishments.According to the Ministry of Tourism, tourist activity seems to be recovering in the beginning of 2017. Very positive results have been registered since November 2016. The majority of both traditional and emerging markets contributed to this upward trend at the end of February 2017, with a positive impact on Morocco’s main tourist destinations. The traditional markets, namely French, Spanish, German and British marked respective increases of 6 percent, 22 percent, 19 percent and 7 percent. Emerging markets also recorded strong performances, with an increase of 923 percent for the Chinese market, 82 percent for Russia, 62 percent for Japan, 32 percentfor the United States, 20 percent for Canada and 17 percent for the African market. The strategy of market diversification adopted by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) is paying off.This tourist flow is reflected in the number of visitors to classified accommodation establishments (EHTC) since the beginning of this year. As of the end of February, the EHTC showed an increase in overnight stays of 14.8 percent, with an increase of 20.2 percent for non-residents and 4.1 percent for residents.The occupancy rate increased by 4 points with an additional 12 points for club hotels, 5 points for 4-star hotels and 3 points for 5-star hotels. This recovery was also observed at the level of the kingdom’s main tourist destinations, which recorded double-digit growth in the first two months of the year, according to the ministry. An increase of 17 percent was registered for Marrakech, 19 percent for Agadir, 37 percent for Fez, 25 percent for Tangier and 8 percent for Casablanca.To keep up this pace, the ONMT does not intend to step up its efforts. The tourist office will soon adopt a new vision based on profitable participation in various international fairs, while investing in digital communication and support for airlines.To consolidate the Moroccan brand as a true tourist destination, the ONMT has launched its newest campaign. “This place is made for painters … The beautiful abounds”. This quotation from Eugène Delacroix’s travel diary is the slogan of the new campaign, underlined by Moroccan newspaper L’Economiste.The ONMT is counting on an additional 600,000 tourists this year, which will reach nearly 11 million tourists. In 2016, Morocco attracted 10.33 million tourists, marking a slight increase of 1.5 percent compared to 2015. This growth is due to good performances linked to the diversification of the issuing markets, notably China, Russia, and the United States.This year, the ONMT expects the arrival of an additional 100,000 Chinese tourists as in the first two months of 2017 their arrivals recorded a leap of 22 percent compared to last year.
Smashing a Guinness World Record, more than 173 million people around the world joined forces with the United Nations to call on global leaders to stamp out poverty and take action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their deadline of 2015.Over 3,000 events were held in more than 120 countries in the fourth year of the “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!” campaign over the weekend. Nearly 60 million more people took part in the festivities this year compared to 2008.“We know that if we take a stand – if we act – we can end poverty in our lifetimes,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was joined by 1,500 schoolchildren at the UN International School (UNIS) in New York on Friday in calling for an end to hunger, which currently afflicts 1 billion people worldwide.At least 100 million people in Asia took part in the campaign, while Africa saw the participation of almost 40 million, the Arab region over 30 million, Europe more than 2 million, Latin America and North America some 200,000 each; and Oceania more than 170,000.“We have seen citizens determined to show their governments that they will hold them accountable for keeping their promises to end hunger, improve maternal health and abolish trade-distorting agricultural subsidies,” said Salil Shetty, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign.“They will not accept excuses for breaking promises to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, who have already been hardest hit by the global food, economic and climate crises they had no role in causing.”Despite the deadly typhoons which recently slammed into the Philippines, over 35 million people took a stand in that country, while the Irish rock band U2 brought 50,000 concertgoers to their feet during a show in the United States. 21 October 2009Smashing a Guinness World Record, more than 173 million people around the world joined forces with the United Nations to call on global leaders to stamp out poverty and take action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their deadline of 2015. read more
US factory output rebounded strongly in February from January’s weather-related setback AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, a Georgia Power crewman goes through the process of restoring power to a neighborhood as he works on a line, in Riverdale, Ga. The Federal Reserve on Monday, March 17, 2014 will isssue its February report on U.S. industrial output, which includes factories, mines and utilities. (AP Photo/John Amis, File) by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Mar 17, 2014 7:41 am MDT WASHINGTON – U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 per cent, nearly reversing a 0.9 per cent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February’s gain was the largest in six months.The figures suggest that factories are poised to boost output and drive more economic growth as the weather improves.“Assuming that the weather returns to seasonal norms, output will rise rapidly in the coming months,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, rose 0.6 per cent in February, the biggest increase since September. Industrial production had fallen 0.2 per cent in January.Utility output dipped 0.2 per cent despite the cold weather. The drop came after a sharp 3.8 per cent jump in January. Mining production rose 0.3 per cent.Auto production rose 4.6 per cent after falling 5.1 per cent in January. Home electronic output increased 0.7 per cent. And food production rose about 1 per cent.Factories ran at 76.4 per cent of capacity, up one-half of a percentage point over the month and 2.3 percentage points below the long-run average.Manufacturing and the broader economy may be emerging from a winter slump. A rebound in factory output could drive faster growth in the coming months.A private survey this month found that manufacturers received more orders in February even as production fell. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said its overall index of manufacturing activity rose to 53.2 in February from 51.3 in January.And Americans spent a bit more at retail stores in February after pulling back in December and January. That may mean that consumer demand is picking up, which could lead to more factory output.But some other data have been negative. A government report showed that factory orders dipped in January. Auto sales have slowed after a big gain in 2013. Sales were flat in February after a drop in January.Businesses kept up their restocking of store shelves and warehouses in January even as sales fell. That means retailers and other firms could be stuck with some unwanted goods. Rising inventories could weigh on factory production in coming months if companies cut back on orders.The economy will grow at about a 2 per cent annual rate in the first three months of this year, economists forecast, down from more than 3 per cent in the final six months of last year. But most expect it will pick up later this year to a 3 per cent annual pace. read more