Context and objectives:
In a global tourism environment where the offer is superabundant and where customers are spoiled choice-wise, the quality of service has become a strategic factor in the choice of touristic destinations: it is considered as a key factor for differentiation and sustainability of the tourism product. The challenge is as important as the customer experience and the assessment that is actually not confined only to the tourism product in its reduced sense but also remains dependent on other services which it revolves around, and that either affects or improves the image that the touristic destination displays.
Thus, and taking into account the element that, along with projects launched to ensure the construction of a touristic offer in Morocco in line with the trends and customer expectations, major projects were launched in order to level and guarantee the expected quality of services throughout the tourism value chain.
The approach was first harnessed to address training issues (initial and ongoing) in the sector and also to professionalize the tourism value chain through launched major reform projects (overhaul of the tourist guides applicable laws, overhaul of the hotel classification system, establishment of a set of specifications regarding the access to the tourist transport business and to the project of reform of the applicable laws regarding travel agencies). As well as some initiated actions in favor of improving the tourism environment (improving reception at the airport, a benchmark regarding the establishment of information kiosks for tourists, urban upgrade actions, etc.).
The current phase is the implementation of measures that are able to define a minimum level of quality and ensure the expected standards in the tourism value chain; the next step must be incentive stage voluntary approaches (quality labels, certifications, etc. . .) for the quality level of all businesses and tourist destinations that remain weak today.
In this context and in order to take the next step in improving the quality of services offered by the Moroccan touristic destinations, the Tourism Ministry has conducted in 2012 a study on the quality of the tourism experience in Morocco whose principal objectives were:
- To set a quality benchmark in the tourism sector (scope, indicators)
- To deliver a photograph of the current perception of tourists regarding the quality of services offered to them throughout their travel experience in Morocco;
- To highlight the strengths and main deficiencies in the quality as perceived by customers.
- To offer a quality approach adapted to the tourism sector and a detailed action plan to address the key issues and to develop the destination in terms of quality;
- To establish a quality monitoring system as perceived by tourists (quality barometer).
The study is structured into 5 major phases as described in the diagram below:
The study covered 2,456 tourists residing in Germany, France, Spain, UK, Russia and Poland, who stayed in Morocco in the last 36 months, in major touristic cities and for different types and patterns of living. Tourists were interviewed through a Web survey regarding their perception of the quality of services offered to them throughout the customer journey.
The web survey was coupled with the realization of a Benchmark of 4 touristic destinations (Croatia, Spain, Turkey, Malaysia) focusing particularly on adopted quality measures, the evaluations that are made, the mobilized resources for their implementation as well as best practices in monitoring devices (tracking) evolving around the quality and standards used for the evaluation of the tourism experience.