INTERVIEW: General manager, Amanjena, Nicolas Ilickovic

Amanjena

 

In an exclusive interview with Aleksandra Wood, general manager, Amanjena, Nicolas Ilickovic shares his insight on the evolution of the Moroccan tourism sector, its plentiful offering and the latest travel updates

 

Reethi Faru Resort Oct 18

TTG: How has the Moroccan tourism scene evolved over the past few years?

Thanks to the efforts by both the public and private sectors, the industry’s long-term outlook remains robust; the business and luxury segment should see more growth over the coming years. Other niches are also developing, such as ecotourism, medical tourism and cruise tourism, while domestic travel has been showing definite signs of growth recently, which should continue as Morocco’s GDP increases and its middle class expands.

The Government’s policies in developing tourism impacted the linked activities, while [the focus on] luxury hotels and resorts created significant competition among hospitality players, and has influenced standard hotels to readapt.

Based on the UNWTO’s forecasts, Morocco’s tourism sector is set to post around seven per cent growth yearly during the coming years. These projections are based on the expected diversification of the country’s offering towards beach resorts and city breaks with the emergence of new destinations such as Rabat, Tangier Bou Regreg and sea resorts including Tamuda and Taghazout.

TTG: What makes Morocco a ‘bucket list’ destination for tourists?

Morocco has always been an attractive touristic destination, with Marrakech being the critical touristic hub of the country – a famous and renowned destination with a multi-offering, including retreat and wellbeing, golf, honeymoon, leisure and MICE. This is all thanks to its tremendous assets regarding its geographical position, historical sites, climate and most of all safety.

TTG: What are your current source markets? Are you targeting any new markets?

Our source markets are mainly the US, the UK, Europe and Asia. We are targeting new niche markets from the Middle East and Russia.

TTG: Are there any new travel or hospitality trends within the industry that you have noticed?

The new trend noticed over the past few years is the global impact of media blogging, and social media in general, on the client behaviour and travel decision. This becomes a scope of strategy for main hospitality actors.

Meanwhile, the opening of the new terminal at Marrakech Menara Airport and the construction of the new terminal in Casablanca to host long courier flights will help attract more clients from new markets (Middle East, Asia)

Marrakech is now competing with other international golf destinations, with more than 14 golf courses offering international standards. As far shopping is concerned, Marrakech is known for its newly designed craftsmanship and fashion.

Lastly, the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum last year has enticed many visitors who are interested in fashion and art.