Morocco’s Hotel Industry Looks to the Future
Following the positive results of “Vision 2010” and under the banner of “Vision 2020”, King Mohammed VI aims to increase the number of tourists visiting Morocco to 18 million by the year 2020. Morocco is currently ranked as number 25 of the world’s top tourist destinations and the King has noted that he would like to see the country in the top 20.
When the Vision 2010 program was instituted for the decade of 2000 to 2010, one of the main goals was to increase visitors to Morocco to 10 million. As reported by the Federation Nationale de L’Industrie Hoteliere (National Hotel Federation), although the results fell just short of the goal at 9.3 million visitors, it was still a significant increase from the approximately 4 million visitors in 2000. As may be expected, the coastal areas experienced excellent growth, but an increasing number of visitors are coming to appreciate the beauty of Morocco’s inland attractions, and exotic Marrakech is still one of the top attractions in the country.
With the current upheaval in nearby territories, Morocco itself remains free of conflict and authorities are confident that there is no reason to believe this will change. Nevertheless, hotels have experienced cancellations by tourists who are uneasy about travelling to the North African region at this time. However, top hotel brands have not allowed this setback to cloud their vision of expansion for the future in Morocco. In an interview Kenzi Group’s sales coordinator, Ghali Kabbaj, noted that in addition to tourists already traveling from the United Kingdom and European countries, there are still untapped markets, such as the United States, Russia and China that need to discover Morocco.
King Mohammed VI has supported the growth of the hotel industry in various ways, including the improvement of infrastructure and easing of credit systems for foreign investors. While world-class luxury hotels have staked their claim in the main centers such as Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir, Rabat, Tangier and El Jadida, there is a need for brand-name budget-style accommodation, especially to cater for tour groups.
With easily recognized brand names such Four Seasons, Hyatt, Best Western, Raffles, Accor, Ibis, Hilton and Kenzi, giving the country a stamp of approval, clearly Morocco is a hot spot tourist destination worth visiting.