Recognition for Tourism in Morocco
Every year, the Commonwealth Business Council and the African Business Magazine host a very prestigious award ceremony, namely the African Business Awards. Many countries in Africa have been fortunate enough to have received the African Tourism Destination of the Year Award, recognizing the efforts made by them to develop the tourism industry within their respective countries. This year, in London, the efforts by the Moroccan government and tourism department were awarded with Morocco being crowed the 2009 African Tourism Destination of the Year.
Morocco showed its dedication to improving the tourism industry through the Vision 2010 Tourism Strategy project that is referred to as Plan Azur. And it is this project that won Morocco the African Tourism Destination of the Year Award. Even though the country has been popular due to its mysterious landscapes, rich history and colorful culture, the Plan Azur project has been striving to create a stronger tourism infrastructure and provide visitors with a wide range of comfortable accommodations.
Attracting approximately ten million visitors to the shores of Morocco has been the main aim of the Vision 2010 Tourism Strategy. Six new resorts have been created since the launch of this ambitious project, of which the first resort, called Mediterrania-Saidia, opened its facilities and services to visitors in June. More resorts are scheduled to follow, as they are nearing completion, such as Mazagan which should be ready in October. In total the project would have created more than eighty thousand beds available in hotels and approximately thirty-five thousand in various other establishments. Over and above the accommodation, the Azur Plan will also focus on preserving the heritage of Morocco and trying to uplift the economies in the poorer areas of the country through tourism. Assisting local communities in taking advantage of the tourism industry will provide them with the education and infrastructure to start their own tourism related services and activities, and offer more job opportunities.
Receiving the African Tourism Destination of the Year Award is a great honor for Morocco and confirmation that their efforts have been rewarded and noticed. Director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office UK, Ali El Kasmi, commented on the award saying: “We are delighted to have won such an accolade. Morocco offers a quality product and a cultural destination full of energy, mysticism and spice.”