The Middle East and North Africa development director at Hilton FerasHasbini believes Morocco has enormous potential for both commercial and leisure tourism. “The country, which is on track to become a major African economic hub, has a well-developed infrastructure that connects major cities, tourism areas, and airports. It is also conveniently positioned near Europe, which makes it a favorite tourist destination for Europeans,” he told Hotelier Middle East.

However, this isn’t the only indicator. According to a report by BMI Research, Morocco’s future looks promising on multiple fronts, including political stability, social standards, and economic prospects.

Global operators have selected Morocco as a key expansion area. With the launch of the Hilton Garden Inn Tangier City Center in March 2016, Hilton one of the best hotels in Morocco re-established its presence. It opened a second hotel in the country, the Hilton Tangier City Center, in June 2017 and said earlier this year that it will ratchet up its expansion in North Africa by establishing a dedicated development department in Casablanca.

According to Hasbini, the hotel behemoth sees a huge chance to expand its footprint in Morocco and has several projects in the works, including the Hilton Garden Inn Casablanca Sidi Maarouf and the Hilton Taghazout Bay Resort & Spa one of the best spa hotel in Morocco.

This year, Marriott International also opened Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace, a new property under the Marriott Hotels hallmark brand in the heart of Fes. The hotel is Marriott International’s first facility in Fes and Marriott’s first venture into Morocco. “We are excited to be establishing our first Marriott Hotel in Morocco, and we believe the hotel will play a vital role in catering to the interests of business and leisure travelers alike,” said Marriott International Middle East and Africa president and managing director Alex Kyriakidis. Marriott is committed to the North African market, and our rapid growth underlines our confidence in the continent’s growing economies.”

Atlas Hotel, a Moroccan hospitality chain, and FTI Group, Germany’s fourth-largest tour operator, created a joint venture in December 2016 to spend $108 million on the best places to stay in Morocco. The enterprise will be controlled by the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, which is working on a plan to improve industry growth by 2020, according to a report by Morocco World News. The collaboration wants to “construct a minimum of four new hotels in the next two years,” according to the newspaper. The Atlas Targa Club, the Idrissides Urban Club, and the Dunes d’Or Beach Club in Agadir are among the hotels that are likely to gain from this partnership.”

Holger Frehde, director of sales and marketing at Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, told Hotelier Middle East that hotels in North Africa have a lot of potentials. The Four Seasons Resort Marrakech opened in 2011, followed by the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca in 2015, and it is currently planning another opening in Rabat, Morocco’s capital. In May 2017, AccorHotels and New Mauritius Hotels Limited inked a hotel management partnership, which resulted in the revival of an existing Morocco resort under the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand. With its first location in Morocco, the hotel has been renamed Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech, marking a big step forward for the luxury brand in Africa.

Story Rabat Boutique Hotelwas opened by STORY Hospitality, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Capital Group LLC, a private investment firm based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The hotel, which is located in Rabat’s Embassy District and is flanked by some of the city’s most prestigious villas and golf courses. It is the best boutique hotel in Rabat, Morocco as proof it has been named “Best Luxury Boutique Hotel” in Morocco for the year 2020 by The Luxury Lifestyle Awards.

While luxury hotels have set their eyes on Morocco, focusing on the principal towns of Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir, Rabat, Tangier, and El Jadida, branded budget and mid-market hotels are still in demand.

This need is linked to Marrakech’s increasing popularity as a tourist and MICE destination. According to a recent HVS survey, the ‘Red City’ has effectively attracted the MICE sector, with hotels making efforts to advertise the low visitor season to MICE industries. According to the paper, the policy is sponsored by Morocco Vision 2020 and has focused efforts on the development of MICE infrastructure.

The Four Seasons resort and destination, according to Frehde, are doing “amazingly well.” The city’s economy has been booming since the COP22 conference in November 2016, and “occupancies are greater than ever,” he told Hotelier. The surge of Instagram travelers and social media influencers capturing photos in the city’s many “riads” is adding to Marrakech’s tourism appeal.

One example is the Riad Yasmine in Marrakech, which was taken over in 2015 by a French couple, Gabriel Paris and Alice Tassery. The duo underlined in an interview with Mashable that their new blogger-focused social media strategy had paid off. In November 2016, the website indicated that more than 80% of visitors come to the Riad after seeing photographs of it on Instagram and Pinterest.

Morocco is also cashing in on the ‘Game of Thrones’ television sensation. Along with Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Croatia, Malta, and Scotland, the cities where HBO’s “Yunkai” (AitBenhaddou) and “Astapor” (Essaouira) were filmed have become pilgrimage destinations for HBO viewers.

According to the Federation Nationale de L’IndustrieHoteliere (National Hotel Federation), King Mohammed VI’s effective implementation of the Vision 2010 program saw tourist arrivals climb to 9.3 million tourists from four million in 2000, and he has now set his sights even higher. Morocco’s new Vision 2020 initiative intends to boost the number of tourists visiting the country to 18 million by 2020. In 2016, 10.3 million tourists visited Morocco.

The reintroduction of many airline routes that had been discontinued during the economic downturn, as well as the city’s rise as a MICE and events tourism destination, all contributed to the increase in international visitor arrivals.

According to Frehde, what makes Morocco a good place for international hotel companies to invest is that it is a safe destination where the King has been very focused on increasing tourism. “He has built highways, connected imperial cities, and is developing beautiful oceanside destinations, both on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean,” he says. Morocco is a great investment destination because of all of these factors,” he stated.

Hoteliers, according to Frehde, have been heavily associated with tourism boards for many years. They collaborate with several local social media influencers and deliver social media experiences to local businesses. “For years, Morocco, and particularly Marrakech, has been a celebrity hotspot,” he noted.

Because of an open-skies agreement with Europe, EU flights to Moroccan airports are no longer restricted, and a large number of new flight routes have opened up from key source markets such as Germany, France, and Spain.

In addition, La Societe Marocained’IngenierieTouristque (SMIT), an investor assistance structure, is critical to Morocco’s tourist development. SMIT acts as a “one-stop-shop” for investors, making the country more appealing for tourism investment.

With an appealing tourism offering, strong government support, and organizations like SMIT, the future of hospitality in Morocco seems bright, according to Hilton’s Hasbini.