Marrakech, a destination ever popular with event planners and delegates for obvious reasons, has never fully realised its potential for reasons of poor access. However, 2011 may see a marked rise in its ability to attract conference and incentive business thanks to two carriers announcing direct UK flights.
BMI has now joined BA in starting scheduled operations to Morocco from the beginning of April. This is good news for groups - getting an incentive travel or conference group in and out in a timely, cost effective and stress free manner has always been a challenge in the past, especially since GB Airways (a BA sub) sold the route to Easyjet. Royal Air Maroc has always operated out of Heathrow, however, service levels have often been its undoing for high-end groups.
Marrakech - Will Benefit from Choice
The route now has a degree of competition to what is a perennial 'hot' (sorry) destination - as well as offering better access, there should be a degree of rate flexibility, depending on time and group size.
- BMI will be operating three, Airbus A319 flights a week out of Heathrow to Marrakech on Monday, Friday and Sunday, perfect for the conference and incentive travel market.
- BMI will offer Business and Economy cabins
- BA is out of Gatwick on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
- The BA and BMI schedules mean most group options can be catered for.
- BMI are also starting a Heathrow - Casablanca service four times a week.
- Easyjet and Royal Air Maroc are still offering direct flights.
I'm more than confident that Marrakech can now move from being a winner on the destination options list and on the ground, and is arguably the perfect incentive destination thanks to its combination of colour, culture, activities and now, ease of access (relatively!).