The tourism industry is currently undergoing a major transformation and needs more innovation and diversification to remain sustainable, competitive and profitable over time and to provide skilled employment. More specifically, regarding the coastal and maritime tourism sector, cruise tourism has become one of the most promising verticals, mobilizing millions of visitors; regarding eco-sustainability, much needs to be done and this requires a commitment from all stakeholders.

In this way, Tangier City Port has been committed to environmental & biodiversity protection for many years and has made it one of the central points of its development strategy in its three main activities: cruising, fast-ferry and yachting.

Within the framework of its international marketing activities, and with the aim of reinforcing its positioning and brand image on themes that are now strategic for the future development of Tangier’s port activities with all the players in the value chain of the maritime sector, Tangier City Port Management Company has successfully participated in an application for funding from the European ECO-CRUISING FU_Tour project. A project that aims to strengthen the managerial, innovative, blue, green and digital skills of WestMed tourism SMEs, but also of public and private actors in charge of the promotion of coastal and maritime destinations in the EU and Western Europe.

For example, destinations need adequate infrastructure to accommodate and supply large cruise ships and their passengers when they call, and this to avoid the negative impact of cruises ships on environment and biodiversity. It is therefore essential to develop a new generation of cruise tourism to preserve coastal and maritime tourism.

It is in this context that a questionnaire has been drawn up for stakeholders who work directly and indirectly in the maritime industry and in particular in the port sector in order to find out their maturity on these sensitive and strategic environmental issues for this rapidly developing sector.

In this respect, a focus on Morocco as a destination will be taken into consideration and will offer a series of reflections and good practices for all Moroccan stakeholders.

The respondents to this questionnaire are all operational, mostly work in small and medium-sized private companies and hold a management position:

graph1  graph2

Concerning the answers to the questionnaire, it is interesting to note that the majority of the managers who responded consider the cruise and maritime transport sector to be important for the future development of tourism in Morocco and in particular for the SMEs.

Among other interesting answers, they indicate through their response that tourism and cruises have a lot to do to take advantage of the new commercial framework, namely ecotourism or other sustainable tourism alternatives (agrotourism, gastronomic tourism, cultural tourism, etc.).

Thus, knowledge sharing, dissemination of best practices, communication at all levels, collaboration between tourism and cruise stakeholders/actors become in their opinion essential to meet this challenge and design eco-intelligent cruise packages targeting Millennials and GenZ.

This project will continue in the coming months and will not only allow us to take stock of the situation by discussing with experts these issues related to the protection of the environment and biodiversity, but also to have strategic information to draw up a roadmap

For more details: Jamil Ouazzani – Director of Marketing & Strategic Intelligence at Tangier City Port Management Company – marketing@tangerport.com