Casablanca-Settat: A tourist region?

The Casablanca Settat region has 235 km of seaside coastline to be enhanced. The actors call for the involvement of the private sector. The establishment of a convention center in Casablanca is essential, but also all the tourist offer that revolves around it. The potential of the Casablanca-Settat Region's tourism sector no longer needs to be proven. The most important thing is to make this tourism responsible, inclusive and beneficial to all, especially since the post-Covid requires a paradigm shift, in line with the changing demands of tourists. Improving the region's tourist attractiveness, whether for national seaside and rural tourism or international business tourism, is the watchword of the region's interactive tourism forum, held last Tuesday. According to Said Ahmidouch, wali of the Casablanca-Settat region, “means are available from Oualidia to Bouznika. The hinterland and rural tourism are to be developed, alongside the offer on all the dams that extend over the region”. It must be said that the sector remains strategic to support regional economic development with multiplier effects on the social, cultural and environmental aspects. The Casablanca-Settat region has several advantages, including 235 km of seaside coastline to be developed. The economic metropolis is also the country's leading business tourism destination, attracting 60% of the country's business tourists. “In the SRAT (Regional land use planning scheme), 5 project spaces have been determined, one of which is dedicated to tourism development and international openness, in line with territorial policies and the specificities of each territory of the region”, emphasizes Asmae Belkeziz, vice-president of the Council of the Casablanca-Settat Region. Thus, tourist vocations have been established around seaside tourism and sport for El Jadida; business, sport fishing, seaside, sport and health for Greater Casablanca, green and ecological tourism for Benslimane and rural tourism and sport for Berrechid In addition, “the region has developed a territorial diagnosis around 7 dams (Massira, Imfout, Daoura, Sidi Maachou , Oued El Maleh, Hassar and Tamesna) for the development of rural tourism in the region, for the benefit of rural populations in order to attract public and private investment to these sites,” adds Ms. Belkez. iz. Similarly, the regional development plan (PDR) should integrate all the elements that allow the development of the region, in particular tourism. If, in the region, Casablanca represents a shopping, art, cuisine and leisure destination, it will however have to rely on another type of nature tourism. “This type of so-called complementary tourism is developing in certain areas such as Benslimane. On the seaside coast, the 235 km of coastline must be reinforced by the creation of Beach clubs, restaurants and nautical bases, which do not represent capital investments”, adds Imad Berrakad, director of SMIT (Moroccan Company of tourism engineering, ensuring, moreover, that SMIT remains involved in the region's projects, in terms of engineering and investment promotion. including the hinterland, Benslimane airport, the Casablanca-Marrakech high-speed rail line, the Grand Théâtre de Casablanca and the museums, as well as the 22 hotels under construction, along with the parks and leisure facilities. The most important development points mentioned during this forum is the need to set up a convention and exhibition center, or even a festival center, with a view to energizing the Corporate Group and fulfilling r thus the hotels of Casablanca during the week. According to Reda Faceh, VP in charge of the North West Africa development of the Accord group, “creating a convention center requires the development of a whole tourist offer for customers. Hence the interest in developing another segment, which is individual leisure”. In the end, to make Casablanca more attractive and increase the occupancy rate, Mr. Faceh emphasizes 2 essential points, alongside the important work in the infrastructures, namely the creation of the activity and this, through the involvement of private investors, and the provision to them of the right conditions and the necessary means to attract them to bet on the sector. CRUI: 32% of investment projects concern tourist classifications The Unified Regional Commission for Investment has granted a favorable opinion in favor of 155 investment projects, relating to the creation of 12,000 jobs and mobilizing a budget of 11 billion of DH. “A share of 32% of these projects was approved and concerned the technical and provisional tourist classifications”, indicates Salma Bennis, director economic impulse and territorial offer at the CRI CS. In addition, 90% of investments relate to accommodation and catering and 62% of them are focused on Casablanca and 19% on El Jadida.