A small, nice guest house away from the tourist route: Gîte Imarin

Sustainable tourism
One of the objectives of the Switzerland-Morocco Sustainable Tourism Programme is to improve the quality of rural lodgings. This will result in more overnight stays and happier tourists. However, quality not only encompasses lodgings, but also professional visitor management services.

Gîte Imarin guest house is just a few kilometres from Dar Itrane, in the so-called “happy valley” of Ait Bouguemez. The drive takes you along blooming apple orchards.

Nait Said is about to finish the interior of his guest house and tells us:

“This is a very positive experience for me. My guest house today is at a higher standard, because the rooms, sanitation facilities, an inner yard, and a terrace were all renovated. We completed our renovations step-by-step. Now we are in the last phase of our work, which has lasted six months. I am quite happy with the result.”

“The rooms now meet the tourists’ desired standards; they all feature a small bathroom with tiles. This is very important. Furthermore, we redesigned the façade with local, sustainable materials. We used a kind of rammed earth. Thanks to the programme, I can now equip the guest house with all the necessary facilities. I didn’t have the financial means available to do this before.

We contributed one-third of the total costs, both in financial and in-kind contributions with materials. This worked well because the whole family worked at the site.

Collaboration with various partners, such as the architect, construction firm, and suppliers worked very well. We all have the same goal: to make our region attractive. We worked together with our various partners in every phase to find solutions and reach consensus.”

Nait Said is pleased to say: “Bookings for the upcoming season are already coming in, the first guests will arrive next week. I hope we earn new clients, and we expect to triple annual overnight stays. Gîte Imarin stands out for its special location. As it is not directly by the road, the atmosphere is peaceful. Its location in the middle of the Vallée Heureuse, with gardens, plantations, and streams nearby makes it an ideal place to rest. We now have an excellent opportunity to reach our goals.”

The Béni Mellal-Khénifra is of strategic interest, due to its history and geographic position near the Atlas Mountains, its wealth of natural and historic sites, and spiritual heritage.

The Switzerland-Morocco Sustainable Tourism Programme: Swiss expertise for sustainable development of tourism.

The Switzerland-Morocco strategic partnership is helping to strengthen sustainable tourism in the   Beni Mellal-Khénifra region. The purpose of economic collaboration and development of the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) in the tourism sector is to support development of the sustainable tourism value chain in our partner countries to strengthen the economy, create jobs, and fight poverty.

The programme is pursuing numerous objectives, working to improve the quality of lodgings in rural areas in consideration of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and its internationally recognised sustainability criteria. In consideration of these criteria, the programme hopes to improve infrastructure and facilities at rural lodgings, as well as visitor reception management.

The programme is financed by SECO, with a national share of 12%.

Sustainable tourism
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.