page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110

MoroccoISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 93the Imperial Borj. The city's convention centre also holds 2,000 theatre-style.Morocco missed the chaos of the Arab spring affecting neighbouring states and recession has made prices attractive.Sixteen qualifying conferences for the ICCA association rankings helped move Marrakech up to 106th among cities. Business tourism currently accounts for 12-15 per cent of the tourist market in Morocco. A US$750m motorway, the 'six-billion dirham highway', was completed last year to connect Marrakech with the resort of Agadir. It cuts the previous five-hour bumpy drive to two hours, so coastal pleasures can be easily mixed with a city conference in Marrakech. The road to Marrakech meetings has indeed become a conference express."Marrakech is an ideal destination for conferences and incentives," according to Amanda Stranack, Director of Event Management at Grass Roots. "The image Marrakech conjures up and all the creative influences; such as mosaic tiling, lattice work and Moroccan history and intrigue, lend themselves to highly effetive creative theming both pre-, during and post-event." Stranack warns cultural differences can make delivery challenging for some planners: "But using a good DMC can usually overcome these issues. We have delivered many highly successful events in Marrakech for our automotive and pharmaceutical clients." Spice of meetings lifePaUl ColSton vISItS MoroCCo'S rEd PEarl and InvEStIgatES an ExCItIng MEEtIngS StoP on thE MarrakECh ExPrESSying at the foot of the Atlas Mountains is the red pearl of Marrakech. The city has been a trading hub for a thousand years and, some claim, is the most exotic destination you can reach in a three-hour flight from Europe.While the tourism brochures will wax lyrical about the delights of spices and freshly squeezed orange juice in Marrakech's main Djemaa El Fna square, there is plenty of food for thought for the business or incentives visitor. The city is a natural stage and delegates can come after hours to meet magicians, acrobats, storytellers and get a full assault on their senses.Marrakech is not a beach resort, so the procurement department cannot level the 'holiday jolly' jibe as you pack your bags for that big event.A gateway city, standing on the road to the Atlas mountains, Marrakech offers the delights of its old town Menara Gardens, Koutoubia Mosque, the remains of the Bahia Palace and the Ali Ben Yousse Medersa. No building (not even a convention centre), in Marrakech can rise above the 75m minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque.There are botanical gardens and for the visitor that is spa savvy there is a hammam culture to try, albeit the hotels tend to go for a 'hammam-lite' version for tourist tastes. For conference space, there is The Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial, a five-star Moorish Palace near to the medina, and other venues including the Pickalbatross Hotel with its conference centre and recent extension boosting its bed stock considerably. The most famous luxury hotel in Marrakech is probably La Mamounia, which Sir Winston Churchill described as 'the most beautiful place in the world'. Sir Winston, along with General Eisenhower, was one of the famous names to have played golf at the Royal Golf Club of Marrakech, where today green fees are 500 dirhams (US$60).Other key venues include the Atlas Medina & Spa Kenzi Farah, the Kempinski Mansour Eddahbi, Le Meridien N'Fis, Royal Mirage and Business tourism makes up 12-15% of Morocco's tourism marketLMeet Marrakech: gateway to the atlas mountains and guardian city for an ancient arab culture