Game hunting in Morocco generates over MAD 1.2 billion per year with 80 000 Moroccans and 3,000 tourists participating in the sport annually.
Rabat – The Moroccan High Commission for Water and Forestry and the Fight Against Desertification plans to promote hunting tourism in Morocco, using it as a tool for rural development.
According to Abderrahim Houmy, the Secretary General for the commission, hunting has real social-economic potential
Approximately 3000 tourists per year currently come to hunt in Morocco and the commission wants to increase this number to 15,000 by 2024, Houmy stated at the annual Game Fair in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, held between June 14 and 16.
For Chafik Jilali, the president of the Moroccan Royal Hunting Federation, Morocco is a prime destination for hunting tourism.
“Morocco is very close to Europe. It already has accommodation infrastructure on par with that of Europe. We also have good transport networks, including airports in the south of the country for tourists wanting to hunt in that area,” he told Morocco World News.
Diversity of game is also an asset. Hunting game includes wild boar, hare, rabbit, partridge, and water birds. The commission has set up hunting reserves across the country.
To increase the amount of tourists engaging in the sport, a number of investments will have to be made, noted Houmy at the Game Fair.
“Hunting is not just about the game, it’s also about accommodation, transport, culture, local produce, gastronomy…A real promotional effort must be made,” he added, as quoted by Moroccan newsource Media24.
Around 80, 000 Moroccans also practice recreational hunting in Morocco, which generates over MAD 1.2 billion ($125.6 million) per year in revenue.
According to Houmy, a hunter spends on average MAD 15,000 ($1570) on the sport, taking into account transport, accommodation and other costs. The direct revenue from hunting permits and license taxes reached MAD 43.5 million (approximately $4.5 million) last year, up 4.5% from 2017.
Houmy adds that hunting also plays an important role in rural employment. For the 2017/2018 season, hunting generated 995,000 days of permanent work and 213,000 days of temporary work according to the commission.
Houmy was not available for further comment on the proposal.
Morocco’s participation at the Game Fair was a step towards promoting hunting opportunities to an international audience, so opening up the sector.
The Game Fair is the largest hunting trade show in France, bringing over 80,000 visitors. Morocco attended the event for the first time this year, as guest of honour. The Moroccan pavilion displayed information on the country’s game, gastronomy, and culture to attendees.