The Mediterranean Tourism Forum, MediTour 2023, being held in Fez, is a great opportunity to present Morocco's achievements in a sector where it has reached a recovery rate of 115%

Morocco diversifies its offer to reach 26 million tourists by 2030

PHOTO GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ La ministra de Turismo Artesanía y Economía Social y Solidaria, Fatima Zahra Ammour
PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - The Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, Fatima Zahra Ammour

The Minister of Tourism Crafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, Fatima Zahra Ammour, at the opening session of the MediTour remarked that the recovery rate of tourism reflects the importance of an industry that in 2022 represented for Morocco 7% of GDP and recorded 9.3 billion euros in foreign exchange earnings, a year in which it reached 11 million foreign visitors. 

In the corridors of the Forum, the general wish was privately expressed that the war between Israel and Hamas does not spread throughout the region and that it end as soon as possible to preserve human lives, recover stability and prevent this new major crisis from negatively affecting tourism. in the Mediterranean, which after the very hard blow of Covid and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has now experienced a notable recovery.​

Speaking to Atalayar, Minister Ammour stressed that "today, while the world has reached 84% tourism recovery rate, Morocco has reached 115%, which is about 31 points gained this year. Achievement that encourages us to continue working to achieve the objectives outlined in the roadmap 2023-2026" and ratified his ambition for Morocco to be a major world tourist destination where cultural heritage will serve as a magnet in the historic cities of the Alawite Kingdom that will increase its attractiveness at the international level.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LOPEZ - The Minister of Tourism, Crafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, Fatima Zahra Ammour, with the president of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of the Fez Meknes region Hamza Ben Abdellah and Abdelwahed El Aansari, president of the National Council of Fez Meknes.

"These are positive results that continue to improve in 2023 achieving 7.1 billion euros in foreign exchange at the end of August with an increase of 33% compared to the same period last year, as well as we reached 11.1 million tourists in the last eight months alone, thanks to the measures taken by the ministry between promotion and improvement of air transport," the minister maintained.

With a view to continuing efforts to improve the tourism sector in Morocco, Fatima Zahra Ammour presented the 2023-2026 roadmap with the ambition to make Morocco one of the world's major tourist destinations and reach 26 million tourists by 2030. 

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Mediterranean Tourism Forum MediTour 2023 in Fez

"In a first stage, we want to reach 17.5 M tourists in 2026 and create 200 thousand direct and indirect jobs through the diversification of the tourism offer and the stimulation of investments in the sector," assured the Minister of Tourism.

"In addition to being a destination of inland tourism, the Fez Meknes region plays a very important role in the implementation of the roadmap designed by the ministry by having the capabilities of cultural tourism and nature tourism," the minister noted.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - The president of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of the Fez Meknes region Hamza Ben Abdellah presents a plaque to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Alexandria, Egypt.


Tourism cooperation in the Mediterranean

At the opening of the tenth edition of MediTour 2023, the president of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of the Fez Meknes region Hamza Ben Abdellah highlighted the importance of this annual event held for the second time in Morocco to "consolidate relations of partnership and cooperation between the 23 countries of the Mediterranean, in order to seek innovative solutions to meet the challenges facing the region". 

The president of the Chamber indicated that Fez will experience economic progress and increase tourism prosperity, thanks to the joint organization of the 2030 World Cup between Morocco, Spain and Portugal, being an internationally recognized tourist destination that is already developing sports, religious and cultural tourism. 

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - The president of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of the Fez Meknes region with the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia

In this context, Ben Abdellah recalled the royal program of empowerment of the ancient Medina of Fez and Meknes with a budget exceeding three hundred million euros, in order to preserve a very valuable part of the national heritage and turn them into tourist poles that allows to revive the local economy especially tourism and handicrafts. These programs aim to enhance the historical and human heritage, to consolidate the development dynamism of these cities, as well as to protect and promote Morocco's intangible capital.

In his speech, the President praised the work of the National Foundation of Museums, which aims to enrich the tourist offer and contribute to the development of Morocco's cultural, artistic and creative heritage. Along these lines, the president of the National Museum Foundation Mehdi Kotbi insisted on the role of culture as an indispensable factor in the growth of tourism as a sustainable and inclusive economy, stating that "70% of tourists visit the country because they are interested in Moroccan culture". 

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Ahmed Elwaki, president of the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Industry and Commerce (ASCAME)

Public-private collaboration
 
The Mediterranean meeting was attended by the Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce of the Mediterranean (ASCAME) represented by Ahmed Elwakil. As a key player in the development of the tourism sector, ASCAME has faced many challenges over the past 40 years, the greatest of which is the lack of balance between the countries of the two shores in the tourism sector, at least; for although it welcomes 400 million tourists, 30% of world income, and generates 20 million jobs, the distribution of these advantages is not equitable. 

In this regard, he stressed the importance of durability, resilience and public-private cooperation to advance the tourism industry in the Mediterranean basin.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Abdelwahed El Aansari, president of the National Council of Fez Meknes

For his part, Abdelwahed El Aansari, president of the National Council of Fez Meknes stressed the strategic priority of the tourism sector in Morocco, in general, and in the Fez Meknes region in particular; mentioning some projects already launched in the region such as the rehabilitation of the Ifran tourist park.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Mediterranean Tourism Forum MediTour 2023 in Fez

"Tourism is a key factor in the national economy capable of creating wealth and employment in Morocco, thanks to the professionalization of the sector, the new Investment Charter and the public-private partnership; with a special emphasis on the intangible heritage and cultural diversity of the country as the basis for each strategy that aims to develop Moroccan tourism," as stated by the director general of the Regional Investment Center of the Fes Meknes region, Yassine Tazi.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Tawfik El Ouazani, vice president of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez

Tourism industry players
 
The plenary session of the first day of the Forum open to the Mediterranean space MediTour which has the expertise of private and public professionals, experts and politicians has concluded with the signing of three agreements; two between the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Services of Fez Meknes and the Industrial Chamber of Egypt on the one hand and that of Tunisia on the other hand; to work on the sustainable and responsible development of the sector and exchange expertise in training, as well as consolidate investment opportunities between the three countries. The third agreement was signed by the Fez Meknes Chamber of Commerce and the National Tourism Confederation with the aim of exchanging information and organizing events.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Mediterranean Tourism Forum MediTour 2023 in Fez

The first day of the Forum featured two roundtable discussions on various topics of great interest for both national and Mediterranean tourism. On the one hand, tourism investment and the attractiveness of the Mediterranean basin, a topic that seeks to find efficient methods to ensure the sustainability of tourism investments, starting with the consolidation of public-private partnerships as a cornerstone for the prosperity of the sector.

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PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ - Mediterranean Tourism Forum MediTour 2023 in Fez

On the other hand, the theme of the Mediterranean cultural heritage, which is based on intangible assets and is committed to the diversification of the tourist offer; turning, in the case of Morocco, the ancient cities into tourist destinations of worldwide interest.

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