Tourism projects propel Morocco's success
Morocco, the exotic land made famous by Hollywood’s “Casablanca”, welcomes tourists who seek that unmistakable Arabic culture, along with outstanding natural beauty where they can enjoy a wide variety of attractions and activities. It is easy to see why the likes of American millionaire Malcolm Forbes, founder of ‘Fortune’ magazine, amongst others, began to invest in the area in the 1970s. Today the palace Forbes purchased stands as the ‘Forbes Museum’ and holds an impressive collection of 120,000 lead soldiers as well as many other curiosities, right in the heart of Tangier.
Today Morocco is seeing unprecedented growth, both in its infrastructure and visitor numbers, with tourism demand increasing by 6% in 2006, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The World Travel & Tourism Council predicts the country’s tourism will continue growing at a rate of 4% per annum, in real terms, between 2008 and 2017.
The World Travel and Tourism Council concurs that Morocco’s market share of worldwide travel and tourism is generally increasing, the main market participants being the French (figures exclude Moroccan national residents abroad), although there has also been a colossal increase of British visitors to the country. Tourists from the United Kingdom were up 29% in 2007 compared with 2006, totaling 418,606 visitors to the country.
Much of Morocco’s strong performance in recent times has been attributed to increased foreign investment. The country has been particularly successful at attracting FDI from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. A number of mega projects, part of the Vision 2010, are due to come into fruition within the next 5 to10 years and now, according to the UNWTO, “Efforts are being made to ensure that airline capacity into the country, including low cost airline services, increases in line with the growth in accommodation.”
Sara Romera, product analyst at propertyshowrooms.com, explains why the country is becoming so tantalizing: “Morocco is still a unique location for property investors and offers the opportunity to purchase property early in an emerging market at very favorable prices. What is unique about the market for property in Morocco is the sense of security for investors: with tourism already improving at a fast rate and buy-to-let investors reporting 85% occupancy rates in prime locations during the high season, Morocco offers a strong arena in which to invest in property.”
Property development may be booming in this North African country, but location continues to be key, particularly when buying property as an investment. Resorts in the Mediterranean are expected to see high rental returns, particularly as they are easier to access than some more southerly locations, and offer better climate and sea conditions. Projects such as Mediterrania Saidia’s “The Greens” and “The Fairways” are situated in what is to become one of Morocco’s most prestigious and ground-breaking of Mediterranean tourist destinations, being the first of the King’s Resorts to be launched. The complex caters for those in search of relaxation, tranquillity and sophistication, all set within the convenience of a purpose-built resort. The fact that the entire complex is backed by the King adds a welcome element of investor confidence and expectation, making Mediterrania Saidia arguably one of the best investment opportunities available in Morocco today.
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