Tourism Industry in Morocco

Also, one interview was conducted tit two Business School faculty members. Findings confirmed that the majority of the AY-Jell respondents are optimistic about achieving the challenge of 2010. Moreover, they all agreed that the economic impacts of this challenge will be mostly positive while the social ones will be mostly negative. To sum up, the Moroccan government should make more efforts to develop the tourism sector, such as developing the infrastructure and the tourism industry, in order to realize this national project of sustainable development. Introduction Moroccan Kingdom is an Arab developing country situated on the extreme north-western corner of Africa. Because it is one of the rare Arab countries that don’t have oil and gas resources, Morocco’s economy is mainly based on agriculture and industry. Indeed, these two sectors cannot constantly provide the Moroccan government with needed and expected incomes; besides, they are unable to solve Morocco’s crucial social and economic problems such as unemployment and poverty.

The country’s strategic geographical situation and unique natural assets encourage the whole society to see tourism as the future economic sector that society can rely on. Consequently, the government sacrifices a great budget and energy to develop tourism. Moreover, it has established new agreements with many countries to bring investors and create a beneficial competition. The government’s biggest challenge, from which the whole society expects a lot, is the attraction of 10 million tourists by 2010.

The challenge of receiving 10 million foreign tourists by the year 2010 is a big national project that, if realized, will have a great impact on all Moroccan, among them AY Shawano University (AU’) and Afraid community. In fact, AY-Jell and Afraid community constituted the main source of this research. The main purpose of this research paper is to investigate whether Morocco, with its set strategies, will be ready to receive 10 million tourists by 2010. This challenge has been the hope of all Moroccan since the famous speech of the king Mohammed the sixth in 2001.

It was chosen to explore this topic because of its importance to the economic and social life in Morocco. Moroccan believe that, if the country could development. 4 The challenge that the Moroccan government made about receiving 10 million tourists by the year 2010 brought up a set of assumptions that needed to be discussed. The first assumption about this issue was that some of tourism negative impacts on society, such as sexual tourism, will increase in many cities all over Morocco, especially in the touristy ones. Another assumption was that insecurity will spread in the country.

Additionally, many Moroccan are pessimistic about the government’s ability to achieve this goal. This research paper has some important concepts that need to be explained and clarified in order to have a better understanding of the topic. The one that was frequently used because of its importance in this study is the word “challenge” which is defined as “Something deeding great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully, or the situation of facing this kind of effort” according to Cambridge Dictionary.

Another concept is “infrastructure”, which means “The stock of basic facilities and capital equipment needed for the functioning of a country’ according to Workbenches dictionary. In addition, “entertainment industry’ is another word that means “An industry which consists of a large number of sub-industries devoted to entertainment. “(Wisped Encyclopedia). Another unclear term in this research paper is “Gross Domestic Product (GAP)”. According to Wisped Encyclopedia, The GAP of a country is defined as “The market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time”.

This paper was set out to answer the following research question: Is Morocco ready to receive 10 million foreign visitors by 2010 and, if so, what are the possible effects of this on the economic and social life of the country? Literature Review Today, Morocco is halfway through its nine-year programmer to increase tourists’ number to 10 million by the end of the decade, a challenge introduced by the King Mohammed VI in January 2001. The purpose of this literature review is to investigate some of many studies that were conducted about tourism development.

Thus, the first part of it compares the Moroccan natural and cultural assets with those of other countries. The second part talks about the strategies that were settled by some countries in order to improve their tourism sector. Finally, this part of the paper copes with giving both economic and social impacts of tourism development. In the majority of developing countries, tourism is mainly based on natural and cultural assets. For instance, “Most of foreign visitors to South Africa indicate that the wildlife is what attracted them to South Africa and that it had exceeded their expectations. (Sandman, 2001). Also, “Cyprus has long been a popular tourist destination because of its physical and climatic characteristics” (Sharply, 2001). Another example is Malta which is one of the most popular Mediterranean tourist destinations because of some important factors such as “The temperate winters and subtropical summers, complemented by long daily hours of assets of countries which is the case in Singapore where “tourism is based on urban historical quarters reflecting a multicultural population” (Change, 1999).

Similarly, Moroccan tourism is mainly based on natural and cultural assets because of its strategic geographical situation. For instance, Morocco is known by its 3500 km of coastlines that include many beautiful sandy beaches, and its unique Mediterranean climate and multicultural population. 6 Natural assets are fundamental but not enough to attract tourists and develop tourism sector. Thus, countries have to set well-studied and fitting strategies to get profit from their natural assets.

Taking the example of Mexico, “In the sass and 1970, tourism promotion policies in developing countries focused primarily on roving infrastructural support for largesse, enclave- like projects in order to meet the demand of an ever-wealthier international clientele that was anxious to spend its leisure time abroad. ” (Brenner, 2005). This example illustrates the importance of infrastructures in developing tourism sector.

Sharply (2001) stated that Cypriot tourism authorities, whilst accepting that tourism has become the primary engine driving the economy, proposes a number of policies designed to overcome many of current challenges at the same time as providing a stable foundation for the future development of tourism. Making challenges is essential for the development of tourism in any country. Cyprus and Morocco are good examples that illustrate this idea. Nowadays, Morocco tends to set strategies to meet the challenge of attracting 10 million tourists by 2010. Tourism development affects the whole country, especially its economic and social sectors.

As an example of economic impacts, the Kruger National Park in South Africa had a significant impact on the development of the tourism industry in the province. This industry is currently a significant sector in the Mulligan economy in terms of both contribution to reduction and employment, (Cayman, 2006). As Gun and Vary (2002) stated, “Through the development of tourism, more people will be employed, obtain incomes, new tax revenues will be received, and new wealth will accumulate” (p. 105). In another example, tourism is a proven employment sector in Canada. In 2004, Ontario tourism generated $21. Billion in annual revenues and accounted for approximately 486,000 Jobs. (Ontario, n. D). On the other hand, tourism development has also social impacts on the country. For instance, in Malta the impacts 7 of the natural and sex tourism were characterized by some negative effects. According to Marking (2001), the most important impact was the growing awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and AIDS. These bad impacts can affect negatively the progress of tourism sector in Malta. However, tourism development can also have a positive impact on the social life in any country.

One of the most important positive impacts of developing tourism is that it can reduce discrimination and prejudice among people. As Golden and Ritchie (2003) stated, “One to one interaction between hosts and guest can break down stereotypes, or the act of categorizing groups of people based upon a single dimension” (p. 03). There is considerable body of researches that have been conducted on tourism development in many countries. The possible impacts of it on the economic and social sectors in Morocco. Moroccan tourism development mainly relies on meeting the challenge of attracting 10 million foreign visitors.

This research project investigated whether Morocco can meet this challenge or not and the possible outcomes of it on the economic and social life once this challenge is met. Methodology Design Approaching the Moroccan challenge of attracting 10 million tourists by 2010 required conducting analyzing and predictive research. First, investigating whether Morocco is ready to receive 10 million tourists by 2010 necessitated doing an explanatory research; analyzing information from different perspectives to end up with better understanding of the issue was necessary.

Second, the future impact of achieving this challenge required predictive answers which were mainly supported by other countries’ experiences on tourism sector like Spain, 8 focusing on how increased tourism affected their economic and social sectors. Thus, a comparison of the Moroccan economic and social conditions could be done to see if similar results have any chance to take place in Morocco. In exploring the issue, the study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods constituted an efficient way for gathering information necessary for statistics needed to reinforce the research.

It was an appropriate way for approaching the two sides of the issue that deal with studying the probability of meeting the challenge and its effects on Morocco. Using qualitative methods in this investigation was also important because it afforded additional data for accomplishing the study; it was more suitable for investigating the first part of this Moroccan national project than he second one, for the fact that it was a source of detailed information about the actual situation of tourism in Morocco.

Subjects An interview was held with two faculty members of Business Administration School because they constituted a more appropriate and relevant source for needed information, especially because of the fact that they have expertise in economic issues in Morocco of which tourism is a part of. Concerning the surveys, two types of surveys were developed; one for exchange students and the other for Moroccan students. In this research, exchange students ere considered as tourists, because they are foreigners who travel in Morocco in their free time as any tourists.

The second survey group was Moroccan students. They were chosen because of the fact that they have been living in Morocco and aware of national issues. Concerning the sample size, it was due to the small number of students in the summer session which is approximately 300 students. Also, this number of surveys has an acceptable 9 percentage of errors which is approximately 10%. The sample was randomly selected; 25 surveys were given to exchange students and 75 surveys to Moroccan dents, either males or females from all levels of studies.

In fact, 49 surveys were returned back: 12 surveys of exchange students and 37 surveys of Moroccan students. Procedures The team members were separated into two pairs. Each pair was responsible for collecting data about the issue using one specific method either interview or surveys. These two methods have been chosen to collect data because while surveys were an easy and a quick method to collect statistical data. The first pair was responsible for conducting the interview and recording it. Two members of he team were required to talk to the faculty members during their office hours.

Interview questions were developed depending on the position of the interviewees. It included 6 general questions about the three main parts of the topic that cope with the possibility of meeting the challenge 2010, the strategies adopted in promoting tourism in Morocco and its predicted impacts on the country. In addition, some sub- questions were included to give more specific details about the subject (Appendix 1). The second pair handed out the surveys at random to AY-Jell Moroccan and exchange students during lunchtime and whenever they meet them on campus.

The majority of survey questions prepared for AY-Jell Moroccan students had the purpose to collect answers about the following issues: does Morocco have the ability to host an increased number of tourists; strategies that will facilitate meeting the 2010 challenge and possible impact of increased numbers of tourists. The surveys contained 10 closed and open-ended questions. For 10 one remaining question, subjects were asked to rank their response on a scale of 1 to 3 (Appendix 2). Concerning survey questions for exchange students, they also consisted of 10 closed and open-ended questions with one question that needed to e ranked from 1 to 3.

These questions mostly focused on the experience of exchange students as visitors to Morocco (Appendix 3). Results After handing on 37 surveys to AY-Jell students and 12 surveys to exchange students, and holding an interview, many valuable results were found about the topic of the Moroccan challenge to attract 10 million foreign visitors by 2010. These results satisfied both the research question and the assumptions about the issue. Surveys Among 25 surveys that were distributed to exchange students, 12 surveys were returned. These students were considered as tourists in order to evaluate their opinions about ours in Morocco.

The chart below represents the level of priority accorded by exchange students to develop different services that are essential to meet the challenge of attracting 10 million tourists in Morocco. 11 Figure 1: Amenities to Develop to Meet the Challenge of 2010 Infrastructure Air-links Quality of service Hotel’s capacity 29% N=12 As Figure 1 shows, the majority of exchange students (43%) claimed that the infrastructure of the country (e. G. Roads, railways, public buildings) is the most important service that needs to be developed, followed by air-links (29%), then the quality of service and hotel’s capacity (14 %).

Moreover, some students had other suggestions about what Morocco needs to develop to realize Vision 2010. Some of upgrade resort-beach areas which attract people. – To create more entertainment industry. Concerning the impact of this challenge if achieved, 100 % of students surveyed (N=12) thought that it will have a positive impact for several reasons: It will help the country to progress and develop positively and will upgrade the standard of living and influence in the world. It will bring in a lot of money to Morocco and help the economy. 2 Exchange students were also asked about what will attract 10 million tourists to sit Morocco. Figure 2 illustrates the results gotten for this question in which students were supposed to choose at least one answer between four elements: Moroccan culture, Moroccan landscapes, Moroccan coastline and Moroccan architecture. Figure 2: Tourist Attractions in Morocco 15% 34% Cultural tradition Landscape Coastlines Architecture 27% 24% N=12 Many students insisted that a combination of all of these elements is vital for the tourism sector in Morocco. 3 Figure 3: The Role of Moroccan to Meet the Challenge 100806040200 be g in g vow id A N=12 Moroccan population plays an important role for the success of the challenge. 5% of exchange students think that Moroccan citizens’ role in meeting this challenge is to be helpful, 67% of them think that they should be friendly while 75% of them think that they should be open-minded. However, only 33% of them claim that Moroccan should avoid begging. In fact, 83 % of exchange students find that Moroccan outside AY-Jell are helpful, 75% of these students find Moroccan kind people.

However, none of these students describe Moroccan as unsociable, racist, or unfriendly people. The following chart shows the most attractive cities in Morocco according to students’ points of view. Re in ODL y pop en -m in deed Be he Ip full 14 Figure 4: The Most Attractive Destinations in Morocco N=12 Some students proposed other Moroccan cities, which were not proposed in the given list of cities, that they think are attractive. An example of them is Tangier and Chanson (Coffeehouse). The exchange students had different attitudes concerning safety in Morocco before and after coming. 7% of students stated that they had some concerns about safety and security in this country; however, after they came to Morocco, 92% of students feel that they are in a safe country. In this survey, exchange students were asked whether they want to come back to Morocco or not. All students surveyed want to come back to Morocco except two students who were indifferent. The main reason for coming back to Morocco, that the majority of subjects (83%) gave, is the beauty of the country including the good weather, beaches, landscapes, and its culture.

In addition, two students (17%) intend to study here and do research about Amazing 1 5 culture, while the two indifferent students want to see other places before coming back to Morocco. As the exchange student survey results illustrated, 50% of them mound some problems while they were traveling in Morocco. For instance, the language barrier is the major problem of these students since the majority of Moroccan do not speak English. While 50% did not find any problem during their journeys in Morocco. Concerning Moroccan’ surveys, 37 surveys were returned among 75 surveys hand out to AY-Jell Moroccan students.

Since this research project first investigates Moroccan capability to meet this challenge, one of the surveys’ outcomes showed that 22 Moroccan students out of 37 (60%) believe that Morocco will be able to meet this challenge and 15 students (40%) disbelieve on this capability. Concerning the aspects that Morocco needs to develop the most in order to meet this challenge in which students can choose more than one answer, almost all of the respondents agreed that the infrastructure are the ones that need to be developed the most.

Quality of service and hospitality came in the second place with 70% of voices. Moreover, 54% of the respondents said that air-links have to be developed and only 5% thinks that hotel capacity has to be improved in Morocco. Some respondents suggested other aspects to develop. For example, they said that Morocco needs to enhance the rate of foreign investments, develop administration, improve the Moroccan mentality, develop Justice, ethical concerns and health issues, and also enhance the service provided to visitors in order to attract and retain them. 6 Figure 5: The Affected Sectors by the Moroccan Challenge 100 80 60 40 20 0 Economic social political N= 37 The chart above obviously demonstrates that students surveyed think that the economic sector will be the most affected by the meeting of this challenge, after that comes the social sector and finally the political sector. Many reasons were given for choosing the economic sector. Students said that by achieving this goal, a decrease in also said that Morocco will receive more hard currencies which are helpful for its economic balance.

Furthermore, that will increase the income of the country, and the Gross Domestic Product (GAP). Concerning the social sector, some students stated that the huge coming of foreign tourists will have a very big effect on young people’s behavior and mentality. Also, they said that the social layers and different people from different countries may create problems such as insecurity, and cause the disappearance of Moroccan culture. However, some of them had a positive view of the impact of this challenge over the social sector. They stated that people will be more tolerant and mutual respect for individual differences will occur.

For the political sector which was the least 17 selected, some respondents said that by meeting this challenge, Morocco will change its political relationships with other countries, especially the ones from which the tourists come. Moreover, they claimed that there will be more secularism in the regime and the 10 million tourists might serve as an implicit means of public relations to promote a good image for Morocco. Concerning the question that investigated if Morocco needs foreign investors or not to meet this challenge, 22 Moroccan students out of 35 answered yes and 13 answered no.

The respondents that answered yes to this question gave many reasons for their choice. For instance, they said that Morocco needs foreign investors because they have more experience, can bring foreign currencies, will create lots of Job opportunities and are also a source of more capital and expertise. They also said that Morocco is a poor country that cannot afford all the needed money for this huge project, the Moroccan capacities are limited, Morocco lacks the know-how and capital and also they need foreign investors in order to follow the international norms.

For the respondents who answered no to this question, they also gave their reasons for doing so. They said that Morocco should first use its own energies because that will encourage young people to make investments. It should also be responsible for this challenge and employ Moroccan investors. Figure 6: Media Effectiveness in Meeting this Challenge Frequency Number of students Percentage Very effective 18 53% Somewhat effective 11 32. 3% Not very effective 5 14. % 34 18 It is clear from the table above that most of the Moroccan students that answered this question think that the media would be very effective in meeting the challenge UT forth by the Moroccan government. Figure 7: Tourist Attractions in Morocco 13% Cultural Tradition Landscapes Coastlines Architecture Other N= 37 The “other” option for this question according to the respondents included the Moroccan weather, Moroccan geographical situation to Europe, and Moroccan political stability which means no rebellions and no revolutions.

When AY-Jell Moroccan students were asked about the role of the Moroccan population in meeting this challenge, 36% of them said that Moroccan have to be open-minded, 23% chose avoid begging as an answer to this question, 22% said that Moroccan must be lawful to tourists and only 18% said that they have to be friendly. Some students wrote in the “other” option that Moroccan have to avoid over-pricing products and services, stop looking at people from other cultures, avoid stealing from tourists and do not get tourists involved in fraud. 9 Another point in this survey deals with whether Morocco can assure being a safe place to visit by 2010 or not. According to the results, 85% of the Moroccan students said yes to this question and no more than 14% said no. Figure 8: Ranking of the Most Attractive Cities for Tourists 100 80 60 40 20 0 First Second Third Merrimack Acadia Organza Other N= 37 The chart above illustrates that the respondents chose Merrimack as the most attractive destination for tourists with 82% of the voices. The second choice was the city of Acadia with 61% votes.

In the third place comes Organza with 39% of the voices. For the other cities, students chose among Sibilance, Assessors, Fez, and Meekness. Moreover, other respondents proposed Tangier as a good destination for tourists even if the survey did not include it. Students were asked to choose more than one answer in the expectations about the season that will recognize the largest number of tourists. According to students’ answers, 83% said that the summer is the season that will recognize the largest number of tourists.

After that comes the spring season then winter, and finally fall season with only three votes (8%). 20 Interview An interview was conducted with two faculty members from the School of Business Administration, who are experts in Tourism. First, the professors were asked about their opinions of the new Moroccan policy of promoting tourism, and they think that it is a good idea in the sense that tourism is a big industry that can have positive benefits on the country’s economy. In addition, they were asked a question about whether they are pessimistic or optimistic about meeting the challenge 2010.

As an answer, they claimed that they are both pessimistic about the number of tourists expected; they don’t believe that Morocco will receive 10 million tourists by 2010 because of many reasons. Some of these reasons are that Morocco needs to make serious projects and to make the industry more professional. However, these faculty members are both optimistic about the progress of tourism in Morocco. Second, the business faculty members agreed that Morocco is a beautiful country; there are