Times are tough in Morocco’s tourist industry amid the pandemic, but Hilton’s announcement of plans for a new hotel shows that the country remains a top tourist destination.
Rabat – Morocco remains a top tourist destination in the long-term, evidenced by the announcement that Hilton is planning a new luxury hotel.
The iconic international Hilton hotel brand is expanding its luxury brand Conrad Hotels & Resorts in Morocco according to an exclusive report by Hotelier Middle East. Hilton announced it will invest in a new hotel and resort in the south of Rabat.
Hilton’s new luxury hotel in Morocco will be constructed in the new luxury coastal town of Arzana, in between Harhoura and Skhirat. The new property will be called Conrad Rabat Arzana and is part of Hilton’s “Conrad Hotels & Resorts” brand, named after the company’s iconic founder, American hotelier Conrad Hilton.
The Conrad brand is Hilton’s new approach to hotels by offering modern designs and luxury amenities. There are currently five Conrad hotels and resorts in operation, three of which are in the US. The brand is expanding in the MENA region with a new resort in the United Arab Emirates opening in the Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.
Global Brand Head of Conrad Hotels & Resorts Nils-Arne Schroeder described the location near Rabat “an outstanding addition to our portfolio,” situated in the newly developed area of Arzana.
The new investment by Hilton hotels in Morocco comes at a time when global tourism is suffering from a severe slump. Air travel is down after decades of sustained growth and most countries around the world are experiencing tough government measures in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In Morocco, the tourist industry has been badly hit by the pandemic. Government revenues from tourism dropped by $1.2 billion in the first two quarters of 2020. The global health crisis has meant economic hardships for many in Morocco who are formally or informally employed in the tourist sector. With a 71.7% decrease in tourism revenues, the short-term looks poor.
Yet the investment by Hilton hotels’ top luxury brand again shows the long-term appeal of Morocco as a top tourist destination. Amid the global slump, the construction of a new top-tier hotel by the iconic Hilton brand shows that Morocco’s long-term tourism prospects remain solid.
The tourism sector remains highly dependent on the developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant and sustained recovery is likely tied to the introduction of a vaccine, or the establishment of a global consensus of a “new normal” to live with the virus through stronger hygiene and social distancing measures.
If anything, the new Hilton hotel shows that although times are tough, Morocco’s tourism sector will recover eventually. In the meantime, government measures to ensure welfare for those in the sector suffering from unemployment aim to help relieve the pressure on those hardest hit.
Once the pandemic has been brought under control, Morocco is due for a strong recovery in its tourism sector as Morocco’s position as a top tourist destination remains unchanged in the long-term.