Thursday, April 07, 2016

Promoting Cultural Tourism in the Fez Medina

"Tourism is inextricably linked to the cultural and historic assets, and choosing a travel destination is based mainly on the diversity of cultural and historic resources of the country to be visited" - Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad

A development programme to promote tourism in the Medina of Fez was the focus of a recent meeting between the Minister of tourism, the Wali of the Fez-Meknes region, the President of the Fez-Meknes region, and the Mayor of Fez. This meeting took place at the headquarters of the Fez-Meknes Wilaya. The focus was on the Medina of Fez and a presentation about a local tourism development programme integrated with culture and the inclusion of handicraft sales.

Listed as a world heritage site, the Medina of Fez contains a huge number of historic and cultural assets and has a unique architectural heritage, combined with an ancient social etiquette. As part of tourism, handicrafts, housing, and culture strategies, several measures have been taken to develop Fez’s tourism and cultural assets, particularly by establishing thematic tours, restoring monuments, and improving the urban environment.

These measures will be supplemented with other specific measures to develop an integrated cultural product that focuses on preserving, developing, and promoting the Medina of Fez through an events policy.

The cultural tourism development programme follows the lines established by the Government as regards regionalisation, decentralisation, and developing local expertise. It aims at strengthening the attractiveness of the Medinas’ tourism potential by:

· Improving tourist facilities (tourist information kiosks, etc);
· Heritage interpretation (markers, ICT, scenography);· Developing architectural heritage (night lighting,  etc);
· Cultural events equipment (exhibitions, etc).

Fez - culture, history & architecture

This programme is carried out by the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT), whose role would be to support the development of tourism products, and to develop cultural resources once urban upgrading is done in medinas and historic sites. The Agency will also provide technical assistance to better implement projects and will oversee the programme’s various design and implementation stages.

Throughout Morocco the programme aims at developing 31 medinas between 2016 and 2025, and that the commitments of the different stakeholders were part of the framework partnership agreement between the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Policy, the Ministry of Handicrafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development in December 2015.

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