Tourism in Morocco 2020: Plans for 20 million tourists
A plan announced by His Majesty King Mohammed VIth
By Malick Maram Ndiaye – Villes du Maroc
“Better late than never”
After numerous meetings and ongoing squabbles between those working in tourism and its stakeholders, the Regional Contract Program of Marrakech (CPR) has finally been launched. Approximately 20.3 billion dirham is expected to be invested to support and revitalise tourism in the Red City.
A compromise was needed to ensure that the program saw the light of day; although not approved by all tourism professionals, it is an important step towards further promoting Marrakech as a top destination.
Lahcen Haddad, Moroccan Minister of Tourism commented that their vision is shared by many authorities across the region. “Through this vision, we want to give a strong signal to investors,” said Ahmed Touizi, the Governor.
This is probably the main concern of regional officials in Marrakech which is the continuous development of their community.In brief, the CPR is a contract structuring program that includes 16 projects and 86 others that will assist in diversifying tourism products to better sell the “Pearl of the South” to its potential visitors.
Overall, 92.67 % of the funding of these projects will show long-term benefits, with its budget primarily supplied by the private sector.
The success of this program will require a valuation of the traditional heritage of Marrakech, an upgrade of its property portfolio, taking into account the importance of its natural beauty, such as the Atlas Mountains.
Thus, the construction of a museum of Islamic arts, the establishment of a new convention center, but also the restoration and preparation of a theme park that will reflect the architectural heritage of the Kingdom, are listed among the projects.
Also, the rebuilding of traditional villages, the renovation of existing sports facilities and leisure and the construction of other structures in Marrakech, are included in the program.
To better explore the landscape of the region of Marrakech (also known as Tensift- Al Haouz), local authorities intend to carry out the six new programs in entertainment, sports and leisure and sustainable development that are consistent with the 2020 vision of tourism. In all the provinces that rely on Marrakech and Essaouira (artists colony and coastal walled city), the intangible heritage is highlighted while remaining a priority in the overall development of tourism.
To meet the expectations of visitors and with an aim to host more international events, two additional sites for city breaks and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) are planned in the region.
To improve the quality and variety of tourist excursions from Marrakech city, Essaouira and within the region, arrangements will be made to offer tourists a stay in the natural surroundings of Toubkal National Park and the surrounding valley.
With the signing of this ambitious Regional Contract Program of Marrakech, officials feel confident about the future.
However, the Red city and its hinterland should benefit fully from the projects that are in the pipeline if greater focus on the health and safety of any future guests is improved.