Rkia Alaoui: “We are preparing a special World Club marketing plan”

Rkia Alaoui
President of the Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima Regional Tourism Board (CRT).

After 2022, which confirms the recovery of tourism in the northern region, optimism is the key word for 2023, which begins. Especially since the city of Tangier is hosting the Mondial des Clubs this year, next February. An event where the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Regional Tourism Council (CRT) has developed a special marketing plan. An interview with its president Rkia Alaoui.

What conclusions do you come to? Tourism activity of 2022?
A year that ended better than it started. Although we did not return to the performance of 2019, we were able to resume normal operations without border closures or curfew restrictions. The world has found a way to live with the virus, especially thanks to vaccination and work improvements. After 2020 of shock and 2021 of endurance, 2022 is the year of restarting our industry, which regains its place among the sectors that employ the most Moroccans, repatriate the most foreign currency and contribute significantly to the country. Moroccan economy.

Did the recovery live up to your expectations?
Absolutely. It should be noted that a number of scenarios have been prepared by government actors and our National Confederation of Tourism (CNT) to prepare for the so-called post-Covid during 2021. In 2022, it was certain that the destination of Morocco would not recover the number of visitors received in 2019, the reference year, which totaled 13 million. Let’s not forget that for the first 3-4 months of the year we were still limited by pandemic restrictions and until February 2022 the borders were closed.

What about recipes?
The good news for 2022 is that the sector’s revenues will surpass those of 2019, reaching or even surpassing 80 billion dirhams for the first time. This is primarily due to the desire of Moroccans to travel, which has never been as strong as foreigners. This trend, which was later observed in several other countries, can also be explained by tourists choosing to spend more in 2022. This will allow our destinations to improve their performance, especially since we still have a long way to go. Going to the level of world destinations that generate three times or more revenue with the same number of tourists.

How is 2023 shaping up?
We are optimistic for next year, but still cautious. We will not forget the immediate pandemic that continues to slow down certain markets in Asia, the most important for Morocco being the Chinese market. In addition, specters of recession in some export markets will begin to weigh on the minds of consumers and ultimately affect their pockets. This means that 2023 will certainly not be the easiest year. But we will remain patient and vigilant.

Do you think Morocco’s success at the World Cup will boost tourism activity in Morocco and the TTA region?
definitely. The impact on fame was immediate. We have seen this through the various monitoring tools available to us. This impact will be felt on the ground in the coming months and years. It must be remembered that the formation and confirmation of a travel decision takes time. What the World Cup did was put Morocco on the minds of millions of potential visitors. So when it comes time to decide on your next destination, Morocco will be the choice for more people around the world. This is where we will begin to feel the full impact of Morocco’s participation in the World Cup.

Tangier has been chosen to host the Mondial des Clubs. How do you prepare for it?You ? Already feeling the impact on bookings?
We are delighted to host the Mondial des Clubs in Tangier. The Ibn-Batouta Stadium, with 65,000 seats and a very large car park that can accommodate more than 7,000 cars, is the ideal venue for a sporting event of this magnitude. The impact on bookings is minimal so far. The choice of city has just been announced. However, we expect the curve to rise rapidly in the coming weeks. We are developing a truly special Club World marketing plan. The aim will not be to create campaigns to inspire or persuade visitors to come to Tangier, as the Cup will take care of that. The main goal will be to give more of our visitors the visibility and tools they need to make the most of their experience in Tangier and its region. Make their experience with us as pleasant as possible so that they come back and recommend their favorite places.

What projects are you currently working on in the tourism sector?
We are fully prepared for the “Connect” show in Tangier from February 22 to 24, 2023. This show, which is one of the most important in the world in terms of the development of air communication, will see the participation of various airlines. Our region needs this visibility to build its reputation among this very important community. Without connectivity, we cannot seek new markets to develop our destinations. At the same time, we are working on creating new campaign concepts to promote Chamal destinations in Morocco and internationally. Campaigns will start in February and continue until September. These campaigns will be strengthened by the introduction of a new version of our digital ecosystem, to always better inspire, help plan and accompany the visitor throughout his journey in our region. We will also be working on the production of our new “Voix de Chamal” podcast, the creation of new photo and video libraries, as well as the creation of new content to be used in the various promotional channels used. by CRT and its partners.

Abdellah Benahmed / ECO Inspirations

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