Morocco invests $576 million in 36 new Marrakech hotels
Morocco is spending $576 million to clear two plots for 36 new hotels in the city of Marrakech, a senior finance ministry official revealed. King Mohammed recently launched the new tourism project, which will add 7,000 rooms to Marrakech’s accommodation capacity. The kingdom is seeking to quadruple its annual 2.5 million foreign visitors by 2010.
The two plots, Agdal and Chrifia, cover an area of 80 and 470 hectares respectively. In Agdal, seven new hotels will operate 1,500 rooms and two villa-hotels will open with a 160-room capacity. The total cost of these projects is projected to reach 1.48 billion Moroccan Dirhams ($127 million). Chrifia will be the location of 23 hotels with 5,450 rooms and four villa-hotels with 200 rooms with a projected cost of MD4.96 billion ($426 million), reported Reuters.
The Moroccan Ministry of Finance confirmed that the state-run Caisse de Depot et de Gestion (CDG) fund is currently heading the project, however financing is also expected from the state-operated King Hassan Development Fund. The hotels would create 5,000 direct employment opportunities and 25,000 indirect employment opportunities.
Despite governmental efforts to boost the tourism industry in the country, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism revealed that the number of visitors to Marrakesh decreased by 24 percent in October, with 86,631 tourists visiting the city during the month, as compared to 114,715 visitors in October 2000.
Of this total, the number of French tourists decreased to 43,400 in October 2001 from 56,098 during the same month the previous year. The number of German tourists also dropped from 9,737 to 7,300 during the same period, reported Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Tourism receipts are the North African country's main hard currency earning sector. They rose 39.3 percent at the end of the January-July tourist season this year to reach close to $1.5 billion. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)