Tourism in Fez is a cyclic activity without any clear trend in terms of growth.
Tourist activities in this city are marked by a stable inbound tourism which has accounted for more than 70% of overnight stays recorded in the destination over the last decade.
Compared with inbound tourism, it is worth noting that Fez doesn't make full use of the potential of outbound markets. From a historical point of view, the city targets only one segment of the French market (circuits' clientele).
Finally, it should be noted that:
- Fez is not a destination in its own right: it is merely a stopping place in the tour of imperial cities;
- Fez is a product designed for a kind of clientele of a single market (circuits' clientele, French market);
- Fez is not marketed as a City Break at a time when it may be fit for this type of product which has witnessed a sustained growth in different markets
Classified as a world heritage by the UNESCO, the Medina of Fez is the Key Resource of the destination as well as the most attractive sightseeing tour of the region, and that is all thanks to:
- its numerous patrimonial resources (9 monumental gates, 7 medersas, more than 100 mosques/mausoleums and 64 monumental fountains),
- its human whole as well as its authentic lifestyle which is viewed as unique in the world.
However, this resource has undergone some damage and it remains less exploited and far from the area of tourist activities. Because of this, it is worth restoring and highlighting. Nowadays this Medina is a major element/resource which may allow Fez to have a differentiated positioning .
Other supplementary resources should also be highlighted in order to enhance Fez-product and more particularly:
- « culture »: an important potential which may create entertainment all over the year;
- The back country whose natural resources are rich and varied (lakes, forests, thermal baths…).
The Fez 2015 vision sets itself the goal of « imposing Fez as a tourist destination in its own right » with a unique and differentiated positioning. The concept adopted as regards this positioning is as follows : « a lively old-age Museum , an authentic destination of cultural and spiritual meetings ».
The distinctive main line of this positioning is the Medina , the only area in the world which still lives according to an ancestral art of living.
According to this new positioning of stay and City Break (while maintaining its current product of circuits, whether it will be a question of completing and innovating), 3 priority targets of clientele have been adopted :
- Target 1 : A clientele seeking to visit the Medina without being in search of a stay in it (circuits as part of a package tour) ;
- Target 2 : A clientele seeking to contemplate the Medina and who are in search of comfort / luxury and an exclusive, safe and peaceful setting (City Break or stay);
- Target 3 : A clientele seeking to live according to the rhythm of the Medina , and who are in search of a total and permanent immersion in the atmosphere of the Medina (City Break or stay).
Objectives by the year 2015
It is expected to treble the number of overnight stays recorded in 2005 from 602.000 beds so that they will reach 1.880.000 beds in 2015, to increase the existing accommodation capacity from 5880 beds to 10.400 beds in 2015, and the occupancy rate from 34% in 2005 to 58% in 2015. And as regards the average stay rate, it is expected to increase it from 2,1 to 2,5 by the year 2015.
As far as the product component is concerned, the program designed to implement the PDRT in the destination is broken down into 4 areas
Area 1: Accommodation offer :
- Development of two UAT : Oued Fez ( 158 Ha . 2300 beds) and Ouislane ( 62 Ha ; 2140 beds));
- Development of capacity in the medina (to increase the accommodation capacity to 600 beds)
Area 2: Animation offer :
- Animation equipments (re-conversion of 4 foundouks)
- Event offer (Reinforcement/improvement of events)
Area 3: «Medina» offer:
- Rehabilitation of pilot districts (the historical center of Ain Azliten ;
- Consolidation/creation of intra-muros tours ; revitalization of medersas (Cherratine and Attarine)
Area 4: Supplementary products offer :
This domain relates to the increase of awareness of the back country's wealth, with a view to enhancing Fez product (hydrotherapy industry , nature, ecotourism…) . This action concerns a certain number of sites, that is to say My Yacoub, Sidi Harazem, lakes of the region, Sefrou, Tissa, etc.
Other building sites are scheduled within the framework of the Fez-Boulemane PDRT, more particularly in the following axes:
- Promotion : C ommitment to provide a budget of 413 million DH over a period of 10 years (2005-2015) aimed at supporting and promoting the Fez destination in the major issuing markets.
- Air transport : Increase of the number of seats in order to go up from 132 000 seats (2004) to 543. 000 ones by the year 2015, and that is all through:
- The putting in place of new air routes in the major issuing markets;
- The densification of the existing direct lines.
- Training : The need to make the balance between training and the offer's characteristics.
- Elaboration of new modules of training specific to Fez : Gastronomy/ Tableware/Tour guides' training (including those of the back country)
- Organization of awareness seminars /training of the reception staff/services (police, customs officers, baggage handlers , taxis…)
- Environment : Security / hygiene and cleanliness / signalling / urban transport/tourist /urban setting : redevelopment and rehabilitation of the major sites and avenues ( Hassan II Avenue , Florence Square, Sofia Square , Boujloud Square and Jnane Sbil)
- Institutional organization : Reinforcement of financial means (of functioning) of the tools of execution and follow-up of the PDRT (CRT and Foundation « Fez 's spirit »)
Financing the PDRT
The financing of the PDRT of Fez-Boulemane is up to 2.968,4 million DH and it will be supported by the authorities with a contribution of 813,7 million DH and by the private sector with a contribution of 2.154,7 million DH .
Status of advancement (may be added as a link which refers to a new page)
Product axis :
- Authorization form concerning the UAT of the Oued Fez;
- Purification process of the real estate initiated for the UAT of Ouislane;
- Rehabilitation of two medersas underway (Cherratine and Attarine) and consultation with the members for the integration of an activity;
- Process initiated concerning the rehabilitation and conversion of old residences (Mokri Palace, Dar Glaoui, Dar Ba Med Chergui) and Foundouks (Achiyech and Sagha) into houses and guests' houses;
- Launching of the restoration of the medina's great wall;
- Launching of the competition concerning the animation at Boujloud square, choice of the candidate, and projected signature of the contract with the city to launch the work;
- Programming and organization of festivals of culinary Art, and Jazz in Riyad; others are to be scheduled;
- Reflection engaged for the reinforcement of the Foundouks' circuits and those leading to Lalla Idouna;
- Study of the concession opportunity or the possibility to find an administrator as regards the projects relating to the Foundouks intended for animation/handicraft, at Makina square, in Lalla Idouna and Oued Fez;
- Initiation of the audit process concerning the real estate in Lalla Idouna ;
- Next launching of the call to tender relating to the matters preceding the project of the foundouks animation/handicraft, Makina square and Lalla Idouna (cf. PDRA);
- Obtaining of the funding from the americans (MCC) for the projects relating to animation/handicraft (Foundouks, Makina square and Lalla Idouna) and tourist circuits related to Handicraft (cf. PDRA);
- Reflection on the possibility to reconsider the signalling system and to introduce the concept of brand for Fez ;
- Process initiated to highlight the back country ;
Promotion axis :
- Launching of the promotion campaigns in France
- Reinforcement of the promotion campaigns in Germany and UK
Air transport axis :
- Creation of 3 Low Cost companies (Atlas Blue, Jet For You, Ryan Air)
- Launching of 2 new lines (Marseille, Lutton)
- 230 000 seats in 2006 (increase of 100 000 seats, that is +77% in two years)
Training axis :
Program in the process of being finalized
Environment axis :
- Rehabilitation/re-development completed at the level of Hassan II avenue ;
- Redevelopment underway at the level of Jnan Sbil;
- Reflection engaged for Boujloud square
Institutional organization axis :
Reinforcement of financial and human resources.