A weak tourist offer and an outdated Vision 2020

Like every year, Moroccans are disappointed with the tourist offer in Morocco, in terms of the quality of services and leisure, but also because of the exorbitant prices offered by tourist actors (hotels, hostels, restaurants, services, etc.). Prices, which push most families with limited incomes not to even consider a weekend, especially not during the two months of July and August. This year, the situation is even more complicated due to the significant increase in consumer products and diesel.

The problem of the mediocre tourist offer and the rising prices in Morocco comes down to several factors according to Zoubir Bouhouth, expert in the field of tourism, who confided in MoroccoLatestNews UK on the subject. First of all, there is the influx of tourists during the months of July-August, in particular MREs (Moroccans residing abroad).

Citing the year 2019 as an example, and based on official figures communicated by the Ministry of Tourism, some 5.9 million MRE returned to Morocco in 2019, of which 40% (2.4 million) during the months of July-August . ” In July alone, some 1.4 million MREs returned home, which means that there is a concentration of tourists, if we add local and international tourism “, adds the expert.

On the one hand, we have strong demand, boosted in large part by MREs, and local demand on the other. But what is serious is that the tourist offer is too weak in Morocco. We don’t have many hotels compared to other destinations. Official figures from the Ministry of Tourism speak of a total of 276,000 beds. In reality, you have to divide the figure by two, because it does not take into consideration the hotels that have closed their doors. The latter are always included in the statistics. This means that there is a strong demand and a weak tourist offer, which automatically leads to a rise in prices “, explains Zoubir Bouhout.

We often hear Moroccans complaining about the tempting offers dedicated to foreign tourists in Morocco and at lower prices and which they do not take advantage of. On this point, the tourism expert explains this phenomenon, which is rather real, citing several points.

On digital platforms, there is no distinction between Moroccans and foreigners. In addition, most foreigners go through travel agencies that offer rather interesting packs, since they are tour operators who rent blocks of rooms“explains the expert, citing as an example a travel agency that rents a 300-room hotel for a whole year, and can therefore afford to lower its prices.

But in Morocco, we don’t have this culture of using travel agencies, deplores Bouhout. ” For us, it’s an intermediary who will overcharge us for the service, which is not the case most of the time.“, he says.

According to Zoubir Bouhout, the solution lies in the offer and in the policy of the ministry and private operators to set up resorts and accommodation units, within the reach of citizens and which takes into consideration the purchasing power of Moroccans. But unfortunately there are none, he laments.

» One of the objectives of Vision 2020 was to build 8 tourist resorts under the Plan Biladi. These are resorts that look like hotels. The only difference is that it is more of an apartment than a room because we have more family tourism in Morocco, and its price is reduced. There are swimming pools, playgrounds and attractions for children. Of the 8 stations that were to be built, only two saw the light of day, namely the station of Imi Ouddar and Ifrane. So there was a problem in the execution of this project, hence the supply deficit that we are currently experiencing”, explains the expert.

To solve this problem, which has become structural, he proposes to set up an affordable offer, which takes into account the purchasing power of Moroccans and proximity, since we cannot continue to concentrate these infrastructures in the same places. , he points out.

The 2020 tourism vision is outdated. Today there is a new investment charter, which will provide grants and so on. There is not yet a fixed ceiling, but it is then necessary to develop a 2030 vision. And this vision must take into consideration incentive measures in favor of investors who want to build stations for Moroccans. But, it shouldn’t look like ghettos just to bring Moroccans together. They must meet the same criteria as hotels“, maintains the expert.

To support the investors who will proceed with the construction of these projects in favor of Moroccans, Zoubir Bouhout recommends supporting them by offering them reductions and specifications. ” In the end, the goal is to offer an apartment to Moroccans at a price that varies between 200 and 300 dhs per night, then extend this price in case the family is larger, etc.“, he recommends.

Another solution to remedy this situation is holiday vouchers. ” The Minister of Tourism and the government mentioned these checks during the election campaign. In France, they are distributed up to a million checks, which allows the French to spend their holidays in France and encourages local tourism“, he says.

An example that Morocco must follow, if it wants to remedy the crisis of the tourist offer and encourage local tourism, believes the expert.

And to conclude: To apply this in Morocco, we need to have accommodation stations in the 12 regions of the Kingdom. There are families who do not want to leave their region. The advantage of holiday vouchers is that it encourages Moroccans to consume locally and at a lower cost“.


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