Bench Events, the organiser of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, today announced that it is launching a sister event, named the Forum sur l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), to focus more precisely on North and West Africa. Proceedings will be bilingual, with presentations and panel discussions led in French with simultaneous translation to English. The first edition of FIHA will take place in Marrakesh during the first week of February 2019.
In Africa, hotel investment is booming. Hotels are core infrastructure because they are essential to attracting tourists and business people who come with foreign currency to spend and invest. As the economic environment in Africa has become increasingly less risky in the past two or three decades and because the number of hotels per head of population is a tiny fraction of what it is in highly-developed western economies, the growth in hotel development across Africa has consistently outstripped general economic growth – which in many African countries is currently higher than much of the rest of the world.
Imad Barrakad, CEO, The Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT), said: “I am very pleased that Morocco will be the launch venue for FIHA, as I fully expect it will attract the kind of people who have the influence and resources to make a destination successful. At FIHA, we will be engaging with them and making a compelling case for further investment in the hospitality sector here.”
Morocco makes four strong arguments to attract investors. First, the country has a stable political and economic climate. Second, it is strategically-located, within a three-hour flight of the major European capitals and seven hours from Dubai, Moscow and New York. Third, its laws are investor-friendly, with no restriction on land ownership or repatriation of profits and fourth, it has robust infrastructure, including a major hub airport in Casablanca.
Tourism is central to Morocco’s economy. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), reports that tourism represented over 21.5% of Morocco’s exports in 2017 and forecast it to grow by 4.2% per annum over the coming decade. From an inbound tourism perspective, Morocco in general and Marrakesh in particular, have experienced a strong start to the year, with occupancy and room rates substantially up on the equivalent period in 2017, according to STR, the leading provider of data and analytics for the global hotel industry.
Source : Company