The Draâ-Tafilalet region will host the largest rural tourism program

A partnership was concluded in 2021 in order to implement an ambitious touristic-cultural program called “Oasis Trésor du Maroc” focused on the Draâ Tafilalet Region for a public investment with a total value of more than 1.4 billion dirhams and creating more than 1,500 direct jobs.

SMIT and its partners aspire to make the Draâ Tafilalet Region an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind destination, transforming the simple traditional tourist route into a treasure hunt called “Treasure Oasis of Morocco”. The route will extend along a corridor of more than 1,000 km at the level of the oases and this, passing through five main stages intertwined with thematic ecosystems to make it the largest rural tourism program ever undertaken in Morocco.

In this sense, the investment will be dedicated to the enrichment of the tourist product at the level of all the provinces of the Region, where several complementary tourist circuits will be built, creating a homogeneous itinerary rich in activities with high added value for visitors. In addition, the program intends to adopt a design approach and materials that promote sustainability.

For more attractiveness, the program envisages the establishment of a communication device for tourist staging throughout the trip. This installation will see in particular the deployment of a tourist signage composed of more than 4,000 display panels, beacons and terminals, among others, which will allow a narrative exhibition of tourist scenes summarizing the experience to be lived by the visitor.

As this is the first ecosystem bearing the name “Rempart de l’Oasis”, the stage will be enriched with several tourist products which will contribute to the discovery of the oasis journey, the starting point of which is planned in Midelt. It should be remembered that this region has historically been a real bulwark against invasions, but also a bulwark against climatic hazards, especially in winter.

In order to take full advantage of nature day and night, the program plans to develop a green resort and nautical bases at the level of the mythical site of the Isli-Tislit lakes, including a set of leisure areas for the benefit of families. and also groups of friends. This experience will be enriched in Midelt by the creation of a cultural and tourist entertainment centre, which will house a performance hall with a capacity of 460 seats, reading and multimedia rooms as well as an exhibition gallery dedicated to tangible and intangible heritage of mountains and oases.

In addition, an interpretation center will be created to restore value to the old sites of the mining village of Ahouli, known at the time for its famous cinema and its train station. There are also many projects that will be implemented to promote the tourist and cultural aspects of the Region, including the development of a large belvedere allowing the visitor to explore the landscape with a 180° view and take a moment to admire the beauty of the painting. Note that an envelope of 210 MDH for the initiation of tourism development including 106 between 2023-2024 and 104 between 2025-2027.

As for the second ecosystem, it will bear the name of “Jardins Oasis” and will be designed to improve the discovery of the Ziz and the landscapes of its oases alongside Ferkla and Ghris. This concerns in particular the development of a project in Rissani to allow visitors to discover the exceptional fascination of Sijilmassa by reconstructing the caravan circuit of Tafilalet. The bivouac and interpretation center that will be created there will bring all the cultural and historical dimension of the site.

This ecosystem will also experience the development of the blue source of Meski which will include new services, including a natural swimming pool, a restaurant area, a garden for walks in addition to areas for the exhibition and sale of local products. The climbing blocks, an attractive activity for a certain category of travellers, will be equipped and a climbing center will be created there.

Among the major components of this ambitious program is the creation of a desert golf course in the heart of Merzouga while hosting a club house and a fauna and flora observatory… Other projects will also be created, in this case the Khettara museum in Fezna, a nature sports station, panoramic stops, among others.

Thus, the overall investment mobilized at the level of the province of Errachidia will amount to 283 MDH, including 100 between 2023-2024 and 183 between 2025-2027.

“Geo-oasis” is the theme of the third ecosystem located in the province of Tinghir. Among the projects comes the improvement of the tourist attraction of the Toudgha gorges, with an investment of 47 MDH, the creation of a climbing center, the equipment of panoramic stops, the creation of heritage interpretation centers for the architecture of construction in the oasis space and reception centers.

The ecosystem will notably include platforms intended for airplanes and motor sports. In total, the investment mobilized at the level of the Province of Tinghir will amount to 210 MDH, including 103 MDH between 2023-2024 and 107 MDH between 2025-2027.

Concerning the fourth ecosystem, “Cure oasis”, the activities will be carried out at the level of the province of Zagora. The SMIT intends to develop a sand therapy center there based on the benefits of sand as a health product and which would offer a whole range of services like a balneotherapy center and convert ksours and kasbahs into charming tourist accommodation.

It also considers the creation of an interpretation center of the archaeological heritage in Zagora in order to allow the tourist to take a trip in the geological airs. In addition to several other projects, the ecosystem will approach an overall investment of 260 MDH, including 104 between 2023-2024 and 156 between 2025-2027.

Finally, “Oasis Cinema Solar” will be the theme of the last ecosystem located in Ouarzazate, the gateway to the desert. This part of the program will be dedicated to the experience of the 7th art, with the development of accommodation, panoramic stops, the establishment of ecological, biological and cultural routes between museums and artistic spaces and sports activities and centers (equestrian center , a road bike room, etc.).

The ecosystem of Ouarzazate will be characterized by the creation of a playful scenographic center, a playful mini park around the theme of Dinosaurs and meteorites and the implementation of a cinematographic path. The program will mobilize for the province of Ouarzazate an overall investment of 283 MDH, including 102 between 2023-2024 and 181 between 2025-2027.

It should be noted that the program also encourages private investment and will set up, in this sense, subsidies in the form of a bonus to accelerate its attraction at the level of all the Provinces. An amount of more than 80 MDh will be reserved for small animation companies.

SMIT and the Region were the initiators of this oasis and mountain tourism development program to relaunch the destination after the period of crisis which hit it hard. A laborious process was undertaken by the SMIT to arrive at the commitment of this program and this, by carrying out the engineering studies (diagnosis of the resources, thematization of the experiences, definition of the concepts of valorization of the resources, costing of the investments and structuring financing of the program), by carrying out consultations with local authorities, local authorities and ministerial partners to obtain their support for this structuring program and to achieve a partnership framework guaranteeing the implementation of the program.

The ambition, ultimately, is to improve the tourist attractiveness of the Draa Tafilalet Region for better performance (more tourists, more overnight stays and revenue) and consequently attract more private investment, thus making it possible to engage strong growth momentum for the destination.

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