Artisan Development in Morocco

Increasing artisan revenue and awareness of Moroccan craft traditions and cultural heritage in Fez and Marrakech

  • Client: Agence du Partenariat pour le Progrès (APP) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) – Morocco
  • Partners: Aid to Artisans, Ministry of Crafts (Government of Morocco)
  • Project Duration: May 2012 – June 2013

The Challenge

Morocco is a country with rich cultural heritage and artisan traditions. Despite the success of Moroccan crafts in the international market, there is a lack of direct selling and direct personal connection between the artisans that make the crafts and those that buy their products. Creating those direct linkages and decreasing the use of middlemen in the sale of crafts aims to increase the direct revenue to the artisans and add that personal touch that could increase visitation by both national and international tourists.

The Solution

To address this challenge, Solimar linked the craft and tourism markets through the creation of artisan and cultural heritage routes in the cities of Fez and Marrakech. These routes make stops at artisan workshops in each city, increasing awareness of Moroccan culture and craft traditions and helping increase artisans’ revenue by allowing them to sell directly to tourists instead of selling through a retailer or wholesaler. At the conclusion of the program, the routes had a direct impact on 6,603 points of sales in Marrakech and Fez where the artisans are now currently selling their products directly to the consumers.  Solimar also helped to market and promote these routes to the wider international travel market through online platforms, thus further increasing awareness of Morocco’s cultural and artisanal heritage and enhancing both the craft and tourism sectors.

Major Activities

  • Launching of artisan and cultural heritage routes: map routes in Marrakech and update existing routes in Fez through stakeholder engagement (such as focus groups, meetings with individual artisans, etc.).
  • Developing and updating route signage: create and update appropriate signage in the two cities to mark the routes and provide education and awareness of Moroccan craft traditions to tourists.
  • Managing relationships: establishing and managing direct linkages between artisans and tourists and connecting the craft and tourism sectors and relevant stakeholders within them to aid in increasing revenue from both craft and tourism activities.
  • Incentivizing the Travel Trade: Utilizing the targeted marketing campaigns and online tools to widely promote the launch of each route, increase awareness of cultural heritage, and increase revenue from the sale of crafts.


  • Creation of six artisan and cultural heritage routes in Marrakech and updating the five established routes in Fez through placing over 500 interpretative signs within the two cities.
  • Creation of marketing collateral such as buying guides, interactive map of routes, sales sheets, etc.
  • Increasing direct linkages between artisans and tourists and thus creating a stronger convergence between Morocco’s craft and tourism sectors.  The routes have a direct impact on 6,603 points of sale in Marrakech and Fez where the artisans are now selling their products directly to consumers.
  • Increasing revenue for artisans and other tourism stakeholders.
  • Increasing awareness of Moroccan cultural heritage and craft traditions and increasing visitorship.


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Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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