The EBRD is supporting the development of Morocco’s tourism sector with a €10 million investment in Alliances Hotel Investment SA, a subsidiary of Alliances Group, for the construction and operation of up to four hotels in Morocco.
Tourism is the country’s top foreign currency provider, the second largest contributor to GDP and the second largest creator of jobs in the country. It is a driving force behind Morocco’s recent economic growth and a major contribution to social and regional development.
While well developed, the tourism sector has so far been offering mainly either 5-star luxury accommodation or small family hotels. Alliances want to fill this gap with 3- and 4-star hotels providing service in line with international standards. The hotels will be managed by international operators under a management contract.
The first two hotels will be developed in Casablanca and Marrakesh, while the other hotels will be developed in other cities such as Tangier, Rabat or Oujda.
Rachid Bennouna, Head of Alliances Hospitality, said: “We are delighted to cooperate with the EBRD in the development of Morocco’s hospitality infrastructure.”
Through a series of flagship projects undertaken since its creation in 1994, Alliances Group has become a major player in the real estate industry. Today, it is Morocco’s leading integrated real estate and tourism company.
Claudia Pendred, EBRD Director, Property and Tourism, said: “This is the EBRD’s first property and tourism project in Morocco. The investment will make an important contribution to the local tourism sector by filling a gap in the 3 to 4 star hotel sector, thus strengthening this vital part of the national economy.”
“This equity investment will support Alliances Group’s efforts to actively participate in the national tourism promotion strategy “Vision 2020” by developing and diversifying the country's hospitality offer”, added Laurent Chabrier, EBRD Director for Morocco.
To date, the EBRD has invested €260 million in 14 projects in Morocco, in addition to €130 million worth of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks, and has provided technical assistance support to more than 110 small and medium-sized Moroccan enterprises.
The Bank’s investment comes under the Local Enterprise Facility (LEF), a €400 million facility for investments in enterprises in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, as well as countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia). It provides a wide range of flexible financial products, including equity, quasi-equity and debt financing to address the needs of companies and the real economy. The LEF is supported by the SEMED Multi-Donor Account.