Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tourism Minister Calls For Free WiFi, Info Kiosks and Public Toilets

The Tourism Minister, Lahcen Haddad,  has called for the establishment of information kiosks, increased signage in several languages, more public toilets ​​and free WiFi connections in tourist cities

The Minister is widely seen as a positive and progressive force by the tourism industry and has been active in promoting Morocco abroad as well as improving infrastructure within the Kingdom.

Lahcen Haddad has called on the newly elected mayors of cities across the country to boost the tourism sector.

Speaking this week at the presentation of the Hotelcert International that has been awarded to the Grand Hotel Mogador in Tangier, the Minister listed the four major projects that the new mayors must address.

The first priority, he says, are public toilets in towns. "I want a city mayors to do something to improve public toilet availability. They do not exist in our cities. I am in contact with city mayors and I made ​​them understand that we need more public toilets in Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech, in Fez, Rabat and other tourist cities," he said.

The initiative on toilets is very welcome as visitors often have difficulty in finding public washrooms. Local people too, point to the need for more public facilities.

The Minister also says more information kiosks must be provided and managed by the municipalities. "It is important to have information booths run by elected officials. We have a little experience with the project in the city of Agadir, but it did not work because they did not put the human resources needed to manage these kiosks. Now they are ready to do so," he said.

Another improvement mentioned by Haddad concerned the need for better signage with "directions in French, English, Arabic and Spanish."

"Free WiFi and better signage is needed" - Lahcen Haddad

According to the Minister, WiFi networks are needed in cities. "We need smart cities, towns connected with the Wi-Fi networks available almost everywhere so that there is access to information relating to cities and their history," the minister added.

Lahcen Haddad has called for a meeting with mayors during a scheduled urban tourism conference in Marrakech to be held "very soon." "I'm trying to set up a charter for tourist cities," he said.

The Minister also stated in his speech that "City management has no political colour We have general guidelines in relation to important issues. Tourism is an important pillar in Morocco and all political parties recognise this fact."

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