Rabat - Regulatory reforms introduced in 2010 are bringing Morocco closer to its goal of making the country one of the world’s 20 hottest tourist destinations by 2020.
Rabat – Regulatory reforms introduced in 2010 are bringing Morocco closer to its goal of making the country one of the world’s 20 hottest tourist destinations by 2020.
Following a private presentation delivered in front of King Mohammed VI and the official release of the Department of Tourism’s Vision 2020 released a month later, Morocco has made substantial reforms to “raise Morocco, by 2020, to be one of the world’s top twenty tourist destinations and a model of sustainability in the Mediterranean destinations.”
Given the integral importance of the sector in Morocco’s GDP and its significance as the second largest job creator in the kingdom, the comprehensive set of reforms are working to create unique, safe, and affordable touristic experiences for Morocco’s visitors. These include reforms in the existing hotel ranking system, transportation, tourist guides and security.
Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism has implemented two main strategies in its endeavor to provide high quality accommodation at an affordable cost. In addition, it has placed enormous importance on increasing the number of tourist accommodation establishments. This has resulted in an impressive increase in room capacity, up from 97,000 beds in 2001 to more than 230,000 beds at the end of 2015.
Not content with merely increasing the number of tourists Morocco can accommodate at any given time, the Ministry of Tourism also implemented a new ranking system in 2002, under Royal Decree 61-00 (Dahir No. 1-02-176 of June 13 2002), amended and supplemented by Royal Decree 01-07 (Dahir No. 1 -08 to 60 of 23 May 2008).
Under this new national ranking system participation is mandatory for all touristic establishments that contain three main components: the ranking scope, the ranking device, and the ranking repository. The objectives of this reform are to enhance the quality of the services offered to tourists while increasing competition among touristic establishments at the national and international levels.
Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism also targeted tourist transportation for reform, setting numerous guidelines for investors. These include provisions related to vehicle maintenance, minimum number of passengers per vehicle, insurance, social service benefits and the submission of annual activity reports.
Not to be left out, the tourist guide service has received similar attention from the government. Earlier this month the Ministry initiated a compulsory yearly training for “Guide of Cities and Tourist Circuits” and “Guides of Natural Spaces.”
This training program works to enhance each guide’s sense of hospitality and life building skills, interpersonal skills, openness, basic general culture, a positive work ethic, emergency aid care, and so forth. The two-day training sessions began October 4, 2016, under the supervision of recognized trainers.
Building on these amendments, Morocco has adopted a unique approach to tourists security that has made it one of the safest in the world at a time when other North African countries have seen major declines in tourism due to terrorism.
The kingdom has emerged as the top tourist attraction in Africa with over 12 million tourists and newly signed tourist agreements with many countries.
A new agreement with China, signed just this past May, saw the number of Chinese tourists to Morocco rise by 300 percent, making Morocco China’s hottest touristic attraction.