The IBTA trophy for the best destination in MICE was awarded in Barcelona to Taoufik Madih, MICE specialist and vice president of the CRT Marrakesh.
A new distinction for Marrakesh. This time it is for its providers in the MICE segment (Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions). The city has just been designated – along with New York – as the best international destination for MICE by the Iberian Association of Business Travel (IBTA) and Travel Manager magazine.
“This is a distinction that rewards all the efforts made by tourism professionals for several years to develop the segment,” said Taoufik Madih, President of the Regional Association of Travel Agencies Marrakesh / Safi (ARAVMS) and vice president of the Regional Council of Tourism.
“Due to its strategic positioning, Marrakesh has several strengths, first and foremost its proximity to Europe, its diversified hotel infrastructure and its expertise in organizing major international events”.
Indeed, the ocher city takes the bulk of incentive operations and congresses organized in Morocco, however the achievements are below the expectations of professionals who hope to drain events of greater size difficult to achieve because of the lack of complementary infrastructure. Marrakesh is campaigning for a permanent exhibition center that will allow it to host events the size of the COP 22 and could become a crossroad for the entire African continent.
As a reminder, the city had to resort to this event to capitals built on the square Bab Ighli to house the work of this meeting planetary. This approach is unfortunately not isolated. In Marrakesh, capitals are assembled and dismantled to accommodate these events with significant investments.
At each major event, (COP22, Congress of Human Rights, the World Conference on Migration scheduled for next December), millions of MAD are invested in an ephemeral structure. If the presence of the convention center has allowed it to attract regional events, the city wants to position itself for the coming years on global events.
The IBTA trophies have rewarded several other categories including the best company, hotel … Marrakesh has been crowned best MICE destination alongside New York.
It should be noted that in the world, the MICE segment hosts 9,000 conferences each year and that Paris, for example, hosts 1,000 a year. To strengthen this positioning, the city should quickly have a larger convention center and exhibition center. “The future of any tourist destination today lies in the MICE, which currently represents only 25 to 30% of arrivals in a city like Marrakesh.”
The ambitions of its professionals and at their head the Regional Council of Tourism (CRT) is to increase this rate. For this, it requires additional support of public policies to move up a gear, drawing on what is happening in cities such as Paris, Madrid, Barcelona or Vienna, insists the vice president of the CRT.