Regional tourism: 93 projects selected as part of the SDR TPMET SM call for projects

The Regional Development Company for the promotion of Very Small, Small and Medium Tourist Enterprises in the Souss Massa region (SDR TPMET SM) unveiled, on June 19, 2023, the results of the projects submitted to the Local Selection Commission ( CLS). The latter held several meetings (between May 9 and June 2, 2023) to process 294 applications (including business creation and transformation). The results of the first edition of the call for projects (AAP), launched on January 10, 2023, proved to be extremely encouraging, since it aroused the interest of 1190 candidates. As of March 30, 2023, the closing date of the call for projects, 294 project leaders were able to meet the administrative conditions required by the rules of the call for projects. As of this date, the group of consulting firms responsible for supporting the SDR TPMET SM, with “Fidaroc Grant Thornton” as leader, and their partners began a three-step evaluation process. Selection process The first step consisted in carrying out an initial inventory with the verification of the files in relation to the eligibility criteria and their completeness. This study made it possible to learn about the projects and to assess their relevance and quality. During the second stage of the evaluation process, project promoters or entrepreneurs were invited to present their applications during interviews with each of the candidates. These interviews provided the opportunity to deepen the analysis, by asking candidates additional questions and assessing their entrepreneurial skills and strategic vision. This evaluation was translated into a scoring based on a criteria grid specific to each category of project, whether in the context of creation or transformation. This approach made it possible to take into account various aspects, such as technical skills, relevant experience, project feasibility, innovation, sustainability, as well as social, economic and/or environmental impacts. Finally, the third stage corresponded to the holding of meetings of the Local Selection Commission, a commission which met twice a week for four weeks, in order to be able to examine the files and the results of the individual interviews and to deliberate on the requests for accompaniment and technical support. The commission is made up of several members, including the Wilaya of the Souss Massa region (SGAR and DEAC), the Ministry of Tourism, Crafts, Social and Solidarity Economy through the Regional Delegation of Tourism, the Souss Massa Region, the SMIT, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, the Regional Center for Investment, the Regional Tourism Council, the Urban Agencies of Agadir and Taroudant, Waters and Forests (PNSM), as well as representatives of the prefectures and provinces in question. This diversity of members allows for a variety of perspectives and ensures a balanced assessment of candidates. Results of the deliberations The result of the deliberations is as follows: – 93 projects were accepted without reservation, including 54 in creation and 39 in transformation; – 37 projects were retained with reservations. These projects break down as follows: 10 accommodation projects, 16 projects focused on entertainment and leisure, 9 restaurant projects as well as a tourist carrier and a travel agency. The projects selected without reservation are representative of different tourism sectors. The figures indicate that animation and leisure projects hold the lion’s share of the projects selected, with a total of 43 projects, or 46% of the total number of projects. Applications in this sector include in particular a variety of activities such as beach sports, paragliding, cultural events, culinary activities, artistic workshops, agritourism, cycling activities, different kinds of hiking, canyoning, climbing and many more. As for tourist accommodation, the number reached 25 projects. Restoration is also well represented with 19 projects. The tourist transport and travel agency projects were selected only for transformation in accordance with the eligibility conditions cited in the AAP regulations, with 4 for tourist transport and 2 for the travel agency. In this first edition of the call for projects, the achievements have largely exceeded expectations thanks to the support of the ecosystem of actors, thanks also to an effective communication strategy and close work with more than twenty workshops organized in the provinces and prefectures of Souss Massa. Certainly, the creative projects selected exceed 50% of the objective established under the program, and also represent 83% of the objective set specifically for the year 2023, i.e. a total of 65 projects. Similarly, the number of transformation projects also exceeded the target set for 2023, recording an exceptional performance of more than 30%. It is interesting to note that among the 39 transformation projects selected without reservation, half of them are mainly concentrated in the prefecture of Agadir Ida Outanane, in particular in the areas of the bay and the north of Agadir. It also appears that these projects are mainly linked to the entertainment and leisure sector. In terms of territorial approach, 41% are located in urban tourist ecosystems. With regard to company size, the results clearly showed the dominance of VSEs (an investment of less than 3 million dirhams), with 80% of the projects selected. 11% for investment projects varying between 3 and 10 million dirhams (PE) and 9% for medium-sized projects (ME) where the investment amount is between 10 and 30 million dirhams. At the end of this phase, the projects selected without reservation will enter the support phase with experts in the tourism professions and the entrepreneurial support professions. This phase will begin from June 20, 2023 with the positioning interviews which will have to define for each project: – Technical assistance needs (topographic survey, architectural plan, development, etc.) – Support and coaching needs (business plan, financing file, etc.) – theoretical, practical and E-Learning training needs (business training, cross-functional training and soft skills).