Morocco Tourism Demonstrates Resilience In Environment Marked By Tragic Events

Agadir, Morocco

The Board of Directors of the Moroccan National Tourism Office held a council meeting on Thursday, July 28, in Rabat under the chairmanship of Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism. During this Council, all the achievements of 2015 and the end performance review in May 2016 and the main projects for the coming months were in turn examined by the Council members.

In introducing this Board, Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism, focused on the difficult geopolitical and security environment in which the sector faces. This highly anxiety-producing environment feeds amalgams and influences the behavior of targeted tourists.

The Tourism Minister recalled all the efforts MNTO during these past years to strengthen the brand image of the destination, to capitalize on the differentiating attributes of Morocco Brand and accelerate the ambitious process diversification of issuers’ basins.

Mr. Lahcen Haddad highlighted the resilience of Morocco destination in spite of very unfavorable factors; and 2015 has almost been the same number of arrivals at border posts to -1% compared to 2014 totaling 10.2 million tourists. Revenues recorded for their slight decrease – 1.4%, reaching 58.6 billion dirhams. This performance is largely explained by the decline of -5% from the French market, which was very marked by the series of terrorist attacks on its territory.

Sub-Saharan Africa [+ 4%], the UK [+ 5%], Germany [8], the Gulf States [12], Brazil [16], China [+ 12%] were the main growth drivers during 2015.

The Director General of the Agency presented a summary of actions taken by the Office of teams that have helped maintain the attractiveness of the brand and Morocco including diversification of markets, strengthening air connectivity, digital policy partnerships with distribution and communication operations: Pavilion Kingdom of Morocco in Abu Dhabi Exhibition Solutions Cop 21 in Paris demonstration in Abidjan and in several capitals.

In the first half 2016, the geopolitical situation has continued to deteriorate, particularly in the French market. Nice events, Rouen and the incidents in Germany are far from contributing to the improvement of the sector geopolitical context in the second half of 2016.

In late May 2016, the destination has recorded a decrease in arrivals at -1.16% of border crossings and a significant revenue growth of + 6.4%. Compared key competitive tourist destinations in the Mediterranean basin have experienced significant declines ranging from -30% to -50%.

In terms of domestic tourism, it recorded an average annual growth rate of overnight stays by 6%, and devotes the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and stakeholders for the development of the domestic market, particularly through the development of supply stations Biladi, the establishment of regionalized school holidays, etc.

For the second quarter 2016 and to deal with this exceptional situation linked to the consequences of the attacks in main market Europe transmitter Council expressed the need to equip the ONMT a particular budget.

That will enable the accelerated pace of the shares in particular press trips and relocation TV shows, organizing large-scale events in order to strengthen the destination branding, the launch advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, and enhance the offer of the destination in Morocco.
These means will be used to accelerate the diversification of markets such as China, Russia, the Gulf States, Scandinavia and Africa.

The holding of the COP 22 in Morocco will be a highlight of before commissioning of the Morocco destination; MNTO will contribute to other national actors with for example the realization of an outstanding film told Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The fundamentals of the destination Morocco and confidence tourist actors are good as shown by the sustained opening of new brands and programming of new air services from November 2016.

The desirability of implementing a Moroccan platform distribution abroad, the launch of a call for expressions of interest from airlines to bases in Marrakech, Agadir, Fez and Tangiers, a new strategy mark for the regions will break as many new sites carried out by teams of the Office.

In this difficult context, while ensuring cost optimization, the Board stressed the need to equip the ONMT adequate financial resources in accordance with what has been arrested in connection with the 2020 vision the shortest possible time. He further recommended the launch of a recruitment policy both qualitative and ambitious in order to provide the Office of the necessary human resources.

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