Switzerland-Morocco Sustainable Tourism Programme

The Swiss-Moroccan sustainable tourism programme aims to support the provinces of Azilal and Beni Mellal in developing sustainable tourism with integrated sectors in order to reduce poverty, create income and new jobs and improve existing jobs, particularly for young people and women.
Beni Mellal
Project duration
2020 - 2024
Financed by
  • State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
  • Kingdom of Morocco (Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Crafts and Social Economy)

The programme

Tourism has been an important economic sector for Morocco for many years. However, in the selected rural provinces, the sector faces serious challenges: the outdated infrastructure and accommodation of tourists, the lack of qualified professionals, a low supply of high-quality tourist services/products, the need to reinforce the tourism destination management and to strengthen the sustainability in tourism. However, the region has considerable potential and invaluable natural resources (landscape, natural and cultural heritage) that must be exploited to make it an integrated sustainable tourist destination. The "Sustainable Tourism Switzerland-Morocco" programme actively addresses the challenges in order to maximise the benefits for this region while minimising the negative social and environmental impacts. 

The programme supports the strengthening of sustainable management of the destination by public, private and civil society actors. Including the development of tourist attractions and the regional production of products and handicrafts, the modernisation of accommodation and the training of qualified personnel in the tourism sector. The measures help to promote investment in tourism, especially SMEs and women's cooperatives, while at the same time creating an environmentally friendly tourist destination. 

The analysis of the destination (through the visitor flow approach to determine their needs), the establishment and implementation of a tourism action plan and the creation of a regional coordination platform will ensure effective coordination and representation towards public and private actors. Furthermore, tourism development takes into account all positive and negative impacts and introduces international sustainability standards (GSTC).

The project aims to improve the refurbishment and modernisation of hotel accommodation in the region for tourists. Capacity building initiatives, especially for women's cooperatives, aim to strengthen their entrepreneurial and management skills, train them in technical professions, support them in the development of new products and help them to market them throughout the tourism value chain.

The implementation of the "Hospitality Coaching" training programme, which helps the selected hosts to enhance the management of the 'gîtes' and the reception of visitors to the region. In addition, new training programmes in the sports and leisure sector will be developed.


  • The destination is evaluated by analysing strategic visitor flows and demand needs.
  • The regional coordination platform, which brings together all tourism stakeholders involved, develops tourism according to a sustainable destination approach.
  • The tourism development plan elaborates the valorisation of tourism resources. It includes the target groups, infrastructure, cost indication, marketing and the development of the necessary skills and capacities.
  • The modernisation of tourist accommodation is ensured by improving the quality of service and upgrading holiday homes.
  • Women's craft and agricultural cooperatives are strengthened by enabling them to sell their products along the entire tourism value chain.
  • The training centre for mountain professions offers a wide range of vocational training courses to strengthen local tourism skills.


Sustainable tourism
Morocco: Swiss expertise for sustainable tourism development
The Switzerland-Morocco Sustainable Tourism Programme intends to foster the development of sustainable tourism in the provinces of Azilal and Beni Mellal, addressing competitiveness and value addition.
Morocco, Indonesia
Sustainable tourism
Resilience in tourism 
The COVID-19 pandemic brought tourism worldwide to a standstill. What are the factors that help to increase resilience in this sector? Sustainability in tourism means not only implementing an environmental project or drawing up a green business plan. Sustainability in tourism is much more about linking tourism development with approaches to renovate the sector from the ground up. This in turn makes regional economies and tourist destinations more resistant to economic adversity.
Sustainable tourism
Improvement in the quality of rural lodgings: renovation work in six pilot lodgings
One of the programme objectives is to improve the quality of rural lodgings for sustainable tourism. These improvements will bring an increase in overnight stays and guest satisfaction.