Rabat - Despite unfavorable world conjecture, Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism vows to improve its hospitality industry by making positive changes in quality, quantity, and capacity to meet the goals of the Vision 2020.
Rabat – Despite unfavorable world conjecture, Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism vows to improve its hospitality industry by making positive changes in quality, quantity, and capacity to meet the goals of the Vision 2020.
Vision 2020 is the set of objectives that the Ministry of Tourism planned for the Moroccan tourism industry in 2010, to be accomplished by the year 2020. The goals include increasing the number of tourists that come to Morocco, improving quality of services, and making tourism a more prosperous industry in the Moroccan economy.
Morocco’s Vision 2020 Tourism Strategy is “a unique tourism model that combines vigorous growth with responsible management of the environment and respect for socio-cultural authenticity,” said the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its “Tourism Trends and Policies 2016” report published in March 2016.
Despite its huge potential as a locomotive for sustainable development, many factors of tourism in Morocco are still facing major quantitative and qualitative challenges.
The changing expectations of tourists, the expansion of tourism offerings globally, and the development of new technologies require professional development and enhancement of the quality of services of traditional players. The projections of Vision 2020 highlight a need for the creation of companies, which will generate some 50,000 new jobs.
Morocco’s 2020 Tourism Strategy aspires to meet those challenges by supporting investors in tourism, developing quality among tour operators, and improving standards in tourism through regulatory reforms.
“Tourism is harbinger of wealth, a source of employment, a way for Morocco to open itself to the outside world, and a means for Morocco to attract investment,” Minister Lahcen Haddad told Morocco World News in an interview.
To achieve the Vision 2020 Tourism Strategy, the Moroccan Ministry is focusing on the following four major components:
Regarding regulatory reform, there are four main sections: tourist accommodations, travel agencies and organizations, tourist transportation, and tour guides.
This ensures professionalism in tourist businesses and enforces quality standards. It includes a rating and classification system for hotels and resorts, which can help quality institutions improve visibility and will encourage low-rated institutions to improve quality of service. The licensing system for tour companies, tourist transportation, and tour guides can ensure higher quality services and prepare workers to be cultural ambassadors for Morocco.
Particular importance is given by the Ministry of Tourism to accommodation sector, which is a determining factor in choosing a tourist destination. Considerable efforts have helped to increase the number of tourist accommodation establishments and bed capacity, which increased from 97,000 beds in 2001 to more than 230,000 beds at the end of 2015.
The ranking system rewards quality service and encourages other institutions to meet higher standards. High-rated institutions benefit from marketing activities, including promotion and public relations work by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) and the Regional and Provincial Centers of Tourism, with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of fairs and exhibitions abroad and in Morocco. Other institutions can benefit from the support and guidance of the government and other businesses.
“Today there are more than 950 travel agencies,” says the Ministry of Tourism. “More than half are concentrated in Casablanca and Marrakech.”
Before a travel agency opens in Morocco, it must obtain approval from the Ministry of Tourism. For the first year of operation, it has a provisional license. In the second year, an official license is granted. After that, certain procedures determine how a company may open new branches, change the directors of the travel agency, change the name of the agency, or close it.
Regarding tourist transportation, the main goal is to ensure quality among operators. These operators must ensure the maintenance of their vehicles and keep them in perfect condition and are required to report to the CNSS/AMO. The operator must submit an annual activity report with the services offered and their assessment of the conditions of implementation of these benefits.
Tour guides, seen by the ministry as “cultural ambassadors” to visitors in Morocco, are also held accountable for the quality of the services they provide. City tour guides provide information to tourists about all geographic, historical, architectural, cultural, social, economic aspects, and other information and assist and support them, while natural area guides accompany and assist tourists during excursions and hikes in natural sites, mountains, and deserts.
The tourism sector needs “the backing of modern tourism businesses, structured and competitive, to be capable of facing significant qualitative challenges and to deliver a full range of services aligned to the needs of Vision 2020,” the Ministry says.The first of the support systems put in place is “Moussanada Siyaha (Tourism Support),” which is aimed at tourist accommodation, tourist transportation, and travel agencies. More than 600 businesses will be supported in 2020, with a budget of MAD 420 million.
Now, more than halfway to Vision 2020, the Ministry of Tourism is conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of this system. The results will determine if they will make changes or adopt a new version of this program, which will be more inclusive in terms of the kinds of services offered and the types of businesses supported.
The second of the support systems will be “Renovotel 3,” which is a fund financed in part by Moroccan banks dedicated to upgrading and improving hotels and other accommodations. The main goal is to promote tangible investments, such as building improvements and renovations.
The ministry says that the total budget of MAD 500 million leads to a total investment of about MAD 1.3 billion, and the upgrade of about 16,000 hotel rooms.
National Federations and Associations of Tourism
Thirdly, national federations and associations of tourism will receive better support to ensure better representation of their members.
These federations and associations will benefit from a corporate restructuring offered by the ministry to ensure better representation of their members and the creation of a connection between their projections and aspirations of Vision 2020.
Finally, the ministry will host seminars on professionalism to support professional development.
The concept of a “Caravan of Competitiveness” was born from the ambition to support the competitiveness of the tourism sector by offering professionals various trainings and skill building activities to strengthen their managerial, technical, and financial capacities. This environment is available in workshops, seminars, speed meetings, and networking.
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