Marrakech shows strong tourism growth potential

HVS report predicts demand across all tourism segments

Ritz-Carlton has signed a hotel in Marrakech.
Ritz-Carlton has signed a hotel in Marrakech.

Marrakech has significant tourism potential across all sectors, according to a report by hospitality consultancy and intelligence firm HVS.

“Over recent years, the market has experienced vast interest from investors in luxury hotel developments and Marrakech has a substantial pipeline of internationally branded hotels due to enter the market in the near future,” the report confirmed.

While a large hotel pipeline, especially in the luxury segment which boasts 800 rooms, is expected to impact performance in the near-term, project delays and the government’s focus on tourism are expected to soften the blow. The new supply is also predicted to be absorbed after 2016.

Earlier this year, Ritz-Carlton announced its entrance to Marrakech with a hotel owned by owned by Jnan Amar Company, a subsidiary of Al Amal Investment Company (SIAMA) part of Azmi Abdelhadi Group of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the announcement, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company president and chief operating officer Herve Humler said: “We are honored to have been selected by Jenan Amar, SARL to manage this unique property. We believe that the unique location of the resort, with stunning views on the High Atlas Mountains, within such an upscale community of Marrakech, coupled with the diverse culture and rich heritage of the wonderful city itself, will offer our discerning guests an incredibly attractive and aspirational destination to explore.”

While the destination remains predominately leisure-based, there has been a growing MICE market during the shoulder and low seasons.

HVS also highlighted the negative impact of the Arab Spring in terms of arrivals and hospitality and tourism growth.

This was mostly felt in the drop off of visitors from the UK and Europe, two key inbound tourism markets for Marrakech.

However, year-to-date May data showing a 16.2% increase in international arrivals was taken as a promising trend about the recovery and potential of Marrakech as a tourism market.

Other positives noted in the report included the growing popularity of Marrakech with BRIC countries.

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