Despite the present tourist downturn in Fez, the city is planning to go ahead with an increase in accomodation options, with a total of 29 projects to provide additional bed capacity of 13,000 beds
With an investment of nearly 8 billion dirhams, the projects are expected to boost tourist numbers to 1.1 million by 2020 and to reap tourism revenues of around 11.7 billion dirhams.
In social terms, these projects should see the creation of more than 45,000 additional jobs, from 32,800 currently to over 78,000 in 2020. This program is seen as a road map for the development of tourism and will capitalise on the cultural and historical nature of the city.
However the present conditions are bleak, with overnight stays in Fez down 12% at the end of September 2016 compared to the same period for the previous year.
Some 482,546 overnight stays were made at the end of September, compared with 550,654 overnight stays during the same period last year.
Arrivals choosing hotel accommodation numbered 248 606 in 2016, against 274,362 in 2015, a decrease of 9%.
Despite the numerous attractions and large number of available day trips, the average length of stay at end September 2016 was a disappointing 2 days, a rate identical to that achieved during the same period of 2015. The overnight stays at Fez for the month of September were 57,144 against 56,849 in September 2015, an increase of 1%
The Riads and Dars in the Fez Medina are the most preferred by visitors and the latest figures show that Medina guest houses and tourist establishments classified 3, 4 and 5 stars showed the best results and counted for the majority of overnight stays in the city, with an occupancy rate of 28%. However, this was still down against 31% in the same period of 2015.
The number of available rooms in September 2016 amounted to 3,942, including 946 Category 5 star 1,208 4 star 696 3 star and 568 rooms in other guest houses.