The challenges of the ACCOR group in Morocco (VIDEO)

Struck down by the effects of the health crisis, tourism is somehow recovering from its wounds. The sector, which has begun a strategic shift, is picking up color and so are the operators. Hamid Bentahar, President of the CNT and CEO of Accor Gestion Morocco, recalls the importance of tourism in the national economy, while returning to the extent of the impact of the crisis on professionals. “The crisis has shown us the real weight of tourism, which goes well beyond the figures we are analyzing. We are talking about 140 billion dirhams in revenue, including 80 billion dirhams in foreign currency and 2.5 million jobs, both direct and indirect. In reality, many sectors are highly dependent on tourism. With the crisis, we even realized that several cities and several regions live mainly from it. Precisely, its ecosystem goes far beyond what we see through the figures, ”recalls Hamid Bentahar. “Since the opening of the borders, there are more and more flights every day. This implies that the ecosystem behind it resumes its activity. I would even dare to say that as of today, a large majority of permanent employees in the sector have returned to their posts”, also explains our guest. He insists on the fact that “if we reduce the constraints of requirements in terms of PCR and vaccination passes, seasonal workers and temporary workers will also resume their work because to date, we are only processing 50% of demand”. Regarding Accor, Bentahar notes that like all players in the industry, the group went through two nightmarish years. These two seasons have been very complicated for our employees, our partners and our owners. But in this period of crisis, we have also witnessed an extraordinary surge of solidarity throughout the industry, with the partners who trust us and the employees. “We realized that the transformation, which began a few years ago, gave us the weapons to be able to review our way of working and reinvent our mode of operation”. “Our group has invested heavily in recent years in a digital strategy to transform the customer experience, with a unique loyalty program. This link has allowed us to become a very powerful media because, throughout the crisis, our hotels have kept in touch with their customers with real programming and real media. We maintained the link with them to offer them sports activities, cooking classes, entertainment activities. We have kept in touch with our international partner clients during the most complicated times. We have also set up a digital program dedicated to employees,” says Mr Tourism. What is it concretely? “We have an academy, with a program developed before the Covid and adapted during the pandemic, and which has been made available to employees. We were thus able to continue to train them while they were at home. They were treated to a high-level training program, accessible at their fingertips. It's something fabulous that has allowed us to keep in touch and give those who want it the opportunity to develop. We have discovered extraordinary talents during this crisis. Our directors and their teams have shown great creativity. Some have transformed their hotels into call centres, their rooms into offices, others have developed coworking, flex office…”, he specifies. What are the fallouts? “Thanks to this great creativity on the part of leaders and employees, we have been able to develop offers to respond to new trends. Our Marketing teams have set up programs with inclusive itineraries to introduce our customers to the beauty and treasures of the rural world, the quality of the products of our local artisans, the producers of olive and argan oil, the masters cheese makers, around our establishments and with whom we have developed a partnership”. And to conclude: “We have made all this more visible and better presented by relying on content creators with whom we have developed closer collaboration. We note, moreover, that the level is progressing in an extraordinary way. They are passionate people, forming a real community, who have managed to speak in a more specific and targeted way to our customers, from the most loyal to newcomers, through new concepts and products”.