Europeans study Plan Azur tourism resort

25 February 2003
Three European companies are prequalified to bid for a major tourism development on the kingdom's Atlantic coast. Portugal's Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Bouygues of France and Belgium's Thomas & Porinhave until the end of February to submit their offers for investing in and developing the Plage Blanche resort, 250 kilometres south of Agadir (MEED 18:10:02).

However, at least one of the companies studying the tender documents is expected to ask the client, the Tourism Ministry, for a bid extension, while another is not expected to bid as the scale of the proposed resort is too large.

'It is a marvellous site,' says one company executive. 'But the developers will certainly have their work cut out.' The resort, part of the government's Plan Azur tourism scheme, is expected to involve the construction of about 30 hotels and several hundred villas offering 26,000 beds. 'On top of that they'll have to provide lodgings for around 15,000 workers and their families,' says the company executive. 'The developers will end up having to build from scratch a small city for around 50,000 people in a place where there isn't even water, electricity or any basic infrastructure.'

Under the Plan Azur, the government plans to add 92,000 new tourist beds through the development of six purpose-built coastal resorts, in a bid to attract 10 million tourists a year to the country from 2010. The development of the sites and the construction of hotel and tourist facilities are expected to require around MD 50,000 million ($4,300 million - Tourism, MEED Special Report, 20:12:02, pages 23-24).

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