In the chapter “The new development model: the Morocco of tomorrow” and by recounting the strategic axes of transformation, the CSMD devotes a fairly significant part to the tourism sector titled “Beyond the COVID-19 crisis: A new era for the tourism sector ”. Blessed bread for all tourism operators in Morocco, although …
“Tourism occupies an important place in the national economy, where it represented 7% of the GDP and more than 550,000 direct jobs in 2019. However, this sector has been strongly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in view of the restrictions imposed at the national and international level, with massive impacts in terms of jobs and economic dynamics in areas with strong tourist activity ”, this is the observation of the Commission headed by Chakib Benmoussa.
Also predicting that at the international level, the return to pre-crisis activity levels will take several years, the CSMD estimates that in this regard, the tourism sector has already experienced major changes in demand over the past decade, including some will be accentuated by the Covid-19 crisis.
And to indicate: “Among these trends, a stronger demand for cultural experiences and for responsible and sustainable tourism, an interest in social immersion, such as through modes of accommodation with locals, facilities through online platforms, as well as the search for an even more personalized customer experience ”, noting that with the Covid-19 crisis, strong requirements are also expected for the capacity of destinations to ensure health security.
On the other hand, the Commission is not worried about the country’s potential to offer tourists a unique experience, and to cover a broad spectrum of demand, given Morocco’s many assets (civilizational, cultural, gastronomic, natural, ecological heritage). and archaeological diversity, as well as a geographical position close to major source markets, etc.) enabling it to respond to these new trends.
The CSMD report sets out some recommendations and guidelines from the NMD that can help rethink the tourism sector beyond stimulus measures and in the light of global trends and the new situation following the pandemic.
“This is essential to give it new life in the long term, allowing it to fully seize all the opportunities offered by national and global demand, and to be more creator of value and quality jobs”, believes- do we in said report.
On this momentum, a local operator told Hespress FR the recommendations in question. “The report sheds light on the fact of supplementing the accommodation offer with a diversified and quality offer of entertainment and experiences, in an ecosystem approach. Decoded, it will be a question of exploiting all the potentials, in particular cultural, sports or medical tourism ”, underlines our source who wonders about the real strategy to adopt and goes beyond the fact of ensuring the inclusion of social economy actors?
He conceded, however: “The CSMD has the merit of calling for close coordination between all the players in the tourism sector and all related sectors”.
Domestic tourism particularly under the magnifying glass
Another recommendation and not the least, the fact of boosting internal tourism through in particular the implementation of support measures to strengthen the access of Moroccan citizens to an offer adapted to their expectations and their purchasing power and the possibility of considering the regionalization of school holidays as a lever to maintain a regular level of demand and strengthen promotional campaigns to encourage national tourists to discover new local destinations.
In this regard, our source believes that this recommendation remains weak and almost impracticable since there will be blockages on both sides, recalling the flop of kounouz biladi and tutti quanti.
Still, the CSMD also recommends supporting entrepreneurship in tourism services and building skills. In this sense, the report highlights that the development of the offer of tourist services and activities presents a strong potential for entrepreneurship, particularly for the development of small businesses at local level.
“In order to promote the development of this offer, it will be essential to offer technical and financial support adapted to these players, to put them in touch to bring out integrated offers (accommodation, activities, etc.) and to draw up a plan specific training in new tourism professions and in favor of their professionalization ”, it was pointed out.
On this point, the operator pointed out to us that some owners took the opportunity of closing their establishments to provide training to all their staff who integrate these new professions precisely, deploring, however, that across the kingdom, these establishments are counted only on the fingers of one hand !!
Give more visibility to the Morocco destination
Another idea to be exploited, according to the Commission, is to adapt to new methods of marketing the tourist offer by supporting the digital transformation of the sector. “It will be important to give more visibility to the Morocco destination and to strengthen promotion on major platforms as well as to provide platforms for monitoring and disseminating information to players so that they can adapt their offers to trends” , we add.
For our professional, all hotel establishments, including hostels and guesthouses are part of this transformation, noting that they did not wait to be accompanied to launch into digital because they know full well that it is now unstoppable …
“Strengthen the resilience and sustainability of the sector. For this, the priority is to improve the quality of employment in this sector, in particular by extending social protection to all tourist workers, particularly seasonal workers, ”also notes the CSMD, adding that the diversification of tourist destinations and the promotion of territories will reduce the risks inherent in massive concentration and promote job creation in rural areas, particularly through ecotourism.
“But it’s an open secret! Some people know full well that Moroccan operators cannot extend social protection to all workers. On top of that, the turnover of seasonal workers is quite impressive! “Thunders our source.
Last but not least, the report concludes that to ensure effective management of the sector at the national level, it is proposed to set up a taskforce at the level of the Executive with a strong mandate to modernize and develop the sector, in parallel, territorial coordination which should be strengthened to promote the emergence of new ecosystems.