Evocative Morocco Rich in Culture and Increasing Tourist Numbers
With the strength of the pound against the Euro still slipping and no sign yet of a turnaround in its fortunes, many people are looking further afield in 2009 when booking their holidays, with horizons widening outside of the Euro zone. One country that is benefitting from this increasing trend is Morocco, a country keen to grow its tourist market and one that is moving very much in the right direction.
2001 saw Morocco’s King Mohammed VI lay down plans for a focus on increasing tourism to the North African country, with ‘Vision 2010’ aiming to create 600,000 jobs in the industry and increase visitors from 2000’s figure of 4.5 million to a figure of 10 million tourists in 2010. This was to be achieved through ‘Plan Azur’, a strategy to build 6 new coastal resorts along with improving transport links and building additional amenities including marinas and sporting facilities to widen the appeal of this culturally resplendent country.
To date, ‘Vision 2010’ has attracted a large increase in visitors to Morocco, with the Moroccan Department of Tourism announcing that numbers of tourists to the country had grown by 6% in 2008 to 7.88 million, making them on track to hit their 2010 target. This growth in foreign interest in the country has also been shown in an increased demand for flights to Morocco, with research from online measurement company Hitwise.com revealing that searches for flights to Morocco increased by 2.1% in the last year, one of only a limited number of countries to witness a growth.
Not only is Morocco witnessing tangible results from its ‘Vision 2010’ in terms of tourists, the country has also become a hot topic of conversation amongst those in the property industry, with Propertywire.com finding in their review of leading property forums that Morocco was one of the most talked about destinations for those looking to buy property abroad. And it’s not hard to see why. Not only is Morocco investing in foreign interest in the country, as a property and holiday destination it has much to offer – with its location close to Europe, rich history, beautiful art and evocative culture amongst many other draws.
Growing in popularity with each year, Morocco is being recognised as one of the hot emerging markets in which to invest and more and more people are looking to buy property in the country, with John Howell of the International Law Partnership, a well-recognised industry figure, amongst many others ranking this destination in his Top Ten Investment Locations for 2009. But where should one invest if they want to buy property in Morocco? The six ‘Plan Azur’ resorts are being developed in coastal regions – one on the Mediterranean Sea and five on the Atlantic – and this is for distinct reasons of meeting demand. As Alisdair Luxmoore, director of Fleewinter.com, points out it is these types of developments that have the most potential,
“If you want a return on your investment, in terms of tourists coming to stay in your place, then, wherever you are in the world, being by the coast is an enormous help.”
One of these developments is the Mediterrania-Saïdia, the first ‘Plan Azur’ resort to be developed, within which Le Jardin de Fleur three miles from Saïdia town offers a great deal of rental potential, with facilities that are second to none including three 18-hole golf courses, 6km of unspoilt coastline, a 1,350 berth marina with a wide array of restaurants, designer shops and bars.
This secure gated resort offers a variety of property options, from one bedroom hotel suites (from £92,000) to a two bedroom beach apartment (from £197,000) or a three bedroom frontline golf villa (from £213,000), all finished to the highest of standards including furniture packs and set in landscaped gardens, some with roof terraces or plunge pools.
The development will be operated by leading hotel groups, such as Radisson and Best Western, which will allow owners to either have the option of using their unit for personal use, when they can use concierge, spa and hotel facilities, or to benefit from a lease-back programme organised by these operators, tapping into their large client base, to truly exploit its rental potential.