Alaoui Yasmine Professor-researcher and consultant specializing in territorial attractiveness and marketing between September 2021 and January 2022 conducted a scientific study on more than thirty-seven tourist facilities and at the same time a study with 675 national tourists who had stayed in a small tourist facility. this same period. Here are the conclusions and findings of him.
The aim is to report on the situation of small Moroccan tourist facilities, to have an idea of the main needs of the target and, definitelyformulate recommendations based on new territorial marketing trends.
|Profile||Small tourist facilities: from 7 to 35 rooms|
|Genre||Hostel / eco-lodge|
|Price||Between 500 and 2500 dhs / night (bed and breakfast)|
|Common features||Nature (forest, mountain, beach or lake), beautiful landscape, calm, rural setting, less than 20 employees and a maximum of two hours from a large city,|
|Field of study||10 Moroccan regions|
20/37 of the facilities say that their visibility has improved during the Covid-19 period; 23/37 the structures declare that they have reached the maximum occupancy rate after the authorization to circulate between the cities (and even before); 30/37 reveal that they have national citizens as their predominant clientele even after the borders have been opened. 7/37 establishments reveal the presence of a new category of Moroccan tourists; “Senior” and 31/37 affirm that it is thanks to digital that they have managed to attract people.
In addition, customers aged between 20 and 65, who travel alone, with family or friends, have started with Covid-19 to favor small tourist facilities (67%); 89% believe that the reason is due to the fact that there is a lower risk of Coronavirus contamination in small tourist facilities characterized by a limited number of rooms and a natural space favorable to well-being; 91% seek eco-lodges for calm, discretion and nature, 95% say they consult social networks, mainly Instagram and Facebook groups to find a destination; 47% prefer atypical destinations; 45% Deplores the lack of a descriptive guide to the identity and cultural and natural specificities of the host territory; 79% Claim prices for service too high compared to average quality.
Most claim the signage and the absence of signage as well as the poor condition of some roads leading to the hostels “good hostels and eco-lodges require the purchase of a 4 × 4 or the change of wheels once back home” Interview 3. And “you shouldn’t go there at night” Interview 51.
By comparing the qualitative and quantitative results of the two studies with the structures and with the target, we propose recommendations inspired by the new trends in territorial marketing that could improve the attractiveness of small Moroccan tourist structures;
- Identity communication since identity marketing has become an important issue in territorial marketing; in fact, national and international tourists are constantly looking for the authenticity of the territories and what makes the territory marked, demarcated and noticed is its identity. Tourist facilities would benefit from providing tourists with documents, videos or podcasts describing the territory in which they are located (history, culture, nature, fauna and flora, mythical stories, local products, character and habits of the inhabitants of the region, etc. .) promote the tangible and intangible heritage of the territory.
- It tells the story of the structure: behind every small structure there is a story and the study confirmed that stroytelling would become a point of sale that would allow to translate the mood of the structure especially in digital content marketing.
- (Re) inventing tourism marketing by focusing on experiential and inclusive marketing; studies have shown that most tourists are looking for an experience, an immersion in the environment of the structure and contact with the locals for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area and not just the service providers;
- Develop link-trust marketing to create links with national goals and new goals that are developing, namely that of the elderly and young women traveling alone. And this, making the effort to review the high prices and improve by improving the quality of services.
It should be noted that this study is only the beginning of a scientific work on the resilience capacity of Moroccan tourist structures aimed at improving territorial hospitality (the ability of a territory to retain its inhabitants, its tourists and its investors) as well as the its attractiveness (the ability of a territory to locally attract valuable goods for the territory).
Yasmine Alaoui, Professor-Researcher