In November 2011, Solimar began working on a proposal for the AFM6 project from the L’Agence du Partenariat pour le Progrès (APP), a Moroccan government agency that was created by the Prime Minister’s office for the execution of Morocco’s 5-year, $697.5 million dollar award from the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Solimar team worked tirelessly for 6 weeks to produce a well-executed 225-page proposal. On March 2, 2012, Solimar was officially notified by the APP that we had won the AFM6 project. The 13-month project titled Promotion des Circuits Touristiques Integrant L’artisanat (Promotion of Tourism Circuits that Integrate Handcrafts), aims to create and promote tourism routes in the medinas of the historic cities of Fes and Marrakech. Both Fes and Marrakech are imperial cities in Morocco and the medina in Fes is a UNESCO world heritage site. Marrakech is probably most famously known for its central square, Place Djemma el Fna.
The AFM6 project will create six tourism routes in each city that will integrate historically and culturally significant buildings, interpretive craft centers and artisan workshops. The routes will feature orientation signs for guidance and interpretive panels that will be easily identifiable and readable by both domestic and foreign visitors.
Aid to Artisans, Solimar’s technical partner for this project, will provide assistance with the craft interpretation component of the project and help create the content for interpretive panels as well as content for other promotional materials for the routes.
By the end of the project, the team aims to achieve the following five objectives:
1) Increase the number of tourists who participate in tours
2) Increase average spending of tourists in craft products while on the tour
3) Increase the satisfaction and interest of tourists for Moroccan craft
4) Increase use of tours by tour guides and travel agencies
5) Increase the number of artisans linked to the tours
This project is scheduled to kick off on May 23. This will be Solimar’s third project in Morocco. We hope to continue to have a strong presence in the country in the future.