Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Faith in the Future - the outlook for tourism in Fez

A new view of Seffarine
There is no getting away from the fact that Morocco has suffered a tourist downturn due to a variety of factors -  from the Arab Spring to the global financial crisis. However, some Moroccans are resiliant and even optimistic in the face of the downturn. While some simply complained about the lack of tourists, others used the quiet months of August and September to embark on upgrades, renovations and even new projects.

Tourist numbers are on the increase again and optimism about the future is being voiced around the Fez Medina.

A large new luxury hotel is under construction adjacent to the Palais Jamais. The hotel is yet to be named, and is a project of the Lebbar family. It is slated to be a five star establishment.

Dar Imam has been beautifully renovated
The guest houses of Fez have also been using the slow season to good effect. Dar Imam has a make-over and is now looking in great shape. Dar El Hana has gone a step further and added a gorgeous new room.

A valuable addition to Dar El Hana
Asked why this was the time to expand, Dar El Hana owner, Josephine Kwan said, "I decided while it was slow it was time to invest, so my guests wouldn't be bothered by the building noise. Recently I've noticed an increase of interest in people coming to my website and the fact that they are looking means that they are thinking about travelling again."

Things are also moving on the cafe and restaurant scene. We recently reviewed the Cafe Barcelona with its interesting fusion of cafe and antique gallery.  Faisal Lebbar, who runs the cafe, is planning to open a restaurant on the top terrace within six months.

The nearly completed restaurant Seffarine
Place Seffarine has always been a favourite square for locals and tourists because of the small cafe and tea house, La Cremerie La Place - the perfect spot for watching the passing throng to the accompaniment of the clanging of the coppersmiths. Now Place Seffarine is to get a Restaurant Seffarine.

Mustapha is optimistic about the future of tourism in Fez

Restaurant Seffarine is the brainchild of the owners of Cremerie La Place. Mustapha, who runs the Cremerie, told The View from Fez that Seffarine needed a proper restaurant. "Not expensive. Main courses around fifty dirhams and they get the spectacular view for free!".

The roof of the ancient Seffarine hammam
Mustapha is right about the view, From the terrace the panorama takes in Place Seffarine, and the beautiful old Seffarine hammam.

Restaurant Seffarine will be open in about fifteen days.



Anonymous said...

Great to see some optimistic people who are using the down time to invest in the future rather than complain about the present.

AP12 said...

i have visited morroco and its so beautiful , i visited agadir , tangiers , aslila and other places . the people there were so caring and hospitable . i loved it .