By Nassrallah Belkhayate, Marrakech
The department in charge of tourism has not yet unveiled the new roadmap of the sector. The announcement was scheduled for April 2 in Agadir. Professionals are asking questions. Should be reviewed according to a committee of experts the overhaul of the Vision 2020 on governance, the Plan Azur, the repositioning of the destination Morocco, the place of digital, the improvement of the quality of the offer or air connectivity and especially the coordination of private-public partnership?
The 2020 vision aimed to make the kingdom one of the top 20 destinations of world tourism with a doubling of accommodation capacity for a creation of 200,000 new beds, a doubling of tourist arrivals to finally land on 140 billion dirhams in 2020 not to mention an increase in tourism GDP by two points in the national GDP.
Nearly two years from the deadline, we are far from this dream of travel! We ended the year 2017 with 11.3 million tourists, including 5.4 of Moroccans living abroad, with tourist receipts reaching $ 6.89 billion at the end of November 2017 … We always change a method that do not work ! And my faith here is the case. Should we review the seaside, the quality of the product, the enhancement of cultural and natural assets of Morocco .. or just check if there is a “pilot” in the plane of this sacred national tourism strategy?
On the occasion of the International Tourism Symposium organized by the Council for Development and Solidarity (CDS), an independent think-tank, in partnership with the CGEM (General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco), Ms. Bensaleh Chaqroun, the President of the employer, emphasized the need for good governance and responsible and real involvement of the government in tourism, a sector that still employs 500,000 people.
Morocco attracts 11 million tourists today and we are since 2013, the first tourist destination in Africa. The prospects for 2018 are certainly promising, but are they up to the expectations of professionals? How can one at such a level of economic urgency deprive the sector of the foundations of tourism?
Rwanda, often cited as an example, hosted more than 40 international conferences, including several high-level events such as the World Economic Forum, the World Summit on Investment in Africa, and the African Forum for Hotel Investment. As a result, the country has seen an increase in revenues, which exceeded $ 37 million in 2015 and reached $ 47 million in 2016. In 2017, business tourism in the country is expected to bring in $ 64 million. This is the main interest of the Convention Bureau which has allowed private companies to position themselves in the business tourism market. Yet in 1993 alone, Rwanda had only 102 tourists!
The Digital Transformation has upset, with incredible speed, the consumption patterns of travel, culture and leisure. How did the tourism federations prepare for this tourism of tomorrow?
The world is changing and so is tourism. If Morocco stumbles in the coming years on its own digital strategy, it will be right to reconsider the personalized responsibility too!
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