Essaouira: the recovery of tourism is confirmed

After the period of gloom linked to Covid-19, tourist activity in Essaouira seems to be resuming its former glory thanks to the resilience that the pearl of the Atlantic has always shown in regaining its rightful place on the the national and international tourist scene. Indeed, the Cité des Alizés has just lived over the last two months to the rhythm of a multitude of demonstrations and eclectic events, at their head the “Gnaoua Festival Tour”, having recorded a very large influx, thus illustrating eloquent way this safe and sustained revival of tourist activity and consolidating the positioning of Essaouira as a cultural, artistic and knowledge destination par excellence. This recovery is not the result of chance, but of countless concerted efforts by several local actors and stakeholders, who have worked tirelessly, within the framework of a participatory approach, to ensure that this thousand-year-old city regains its its rightful place on the chessboard of national and international tourism. In a statement to M24, the continuous news television channel of MAP, the provincial delegate of the Ministry of Tourism, Younès Dbibirha, explained that this revival began to be felt as soon as the announcement of the decision of the public authorities to reopen the borders on February 7, adding that tourist activity began to regain its colors, slowly but surely, from last April. He, in the process, noted that as of May, the performances achieved in 2019 were exceeded, noting that during this summer period, the provincial delegation carries out a permanent follow-up of the tourist indicators with the establishments of accommodation classified at the provincial level. And the manager said that these units recorded, at the end of last week, an occupancy rate of more than 70%, noting that some establishments were even full. Dbibirha also indicated that the provincial delegation, in close collaboration with the competent authorities, oversees the control and organization of awareness campaigns in order to guarantee a reception in the best conditions of visitors, both Moroccan and strangers. In this wake, he recalled the support measures taken by the supervisory department for accommodation establishments as part of the recovery plan, highlighting the adherence of certain establishments at the provincial level to this plan. which will allow them to comply with standards and better position themselves. The official also noted that the city of Essaouira became, last May, the first destination in Morocco and the African continent labeled “Creative Friendly”. This registration of the Cité des Alizés on the “Creative Tourism Network” (CTN), promotes a framework conducive to the collaboration of local actors to co-create creative tourism experiences that meet the demand of new generations of travellers, by quest for authenticity and human values, and which allow both to create an ecosystem between artists, craftsmen, creative industries, tourism and hotel sectors, and of course, the Souiri population. And to continue that the provincial delegation is working, in close collaboration with the Provincial Council of Tourism (CPT), to rethink the marketing and communication strategy for better promotion of tourist products and offers. He also underlined that within the framework of the Complementary Program for the rehabilitation and enhancement of the old medina of Essaouira (2019-2023), the supervisory ministry contributes to the financing of several projects capable of giving a new impetus to tourist activity in the Cité des Alizés, citing in this sense, the creation of the Center for the Interpretation of the Tourist and Architectural Heritage of the Medina, whose works have been completed and which is currently in the process of finalizing the last arrangements inherent in its management and operation. Other projects are in the process of being completed or launched, namely the lighting of the main historical monuments of the city, the artistic lighting of Place Moulay El Hassan, the signage at the level of the old medina and the installation of three tourist information kiosks in Moulay El Hassan, Bab Marrakech and Bab Doukala squares, the official said. There is no doubt that the synergy of the efforts made by the stakeholders has borne fruit, as evidenced by the influx of visitors to the city during this period. It remains that this re-launch of the tourist activity is consolidated to register this sure revival in the continuity and the durability. SL (with MAP)