Forbes Travel and Tourism Leaders 2023: Moroccan Adel El Fakir among top 20 in Middle East's list

Forbes Middle East has unveiled its second annual ranking of the region's Top Travel & Tourism Leaders, in which Adel El Fakir, Director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT), came among the top 20 in the 2023 list.

Al Fakir was ranked 18th in the Forbes list of the 100 most influential leaders in the Middle East's travel and tourism industry, making him the first Moroccan to enter "the club of top 20".

According to the same list, Moroccan Habiba Laklalech, Director General of the National Office of Airports in Morocco (ONDA), ranked 32nd, and at the national level, she is second after Al Fakir.

On the other hand, Abdelhamid Addou, director of Royal Air Maroc, fell to 41st place, after he had ranked 33rd in Forbes magazine's list of the most powerful travel and tourism leaders in the Middle East in 2021.

Thus, three Moroccans secured important ranks in this list, which was topped by the Emiratis with 16 names, then the Saudis with 12, in addition to other nationalities.

The fact that Adel El Fakir, who was appointed General Manager of the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) in 2018, managed to rise to this advanced rank in Forbes magazine within a few years of assuming the position, is considered a great success.

Despite the Corona epidemic and its repercussions, El Fakir, since assuming the management of the Moroccan National Tourism Office, has worked to develop Moroccan tourism, through many initiatives, programs, and promotional campaigns, including the “Morocco, Land of Lights” campaign, so that Morocco succeeded in attracting 11 million tourists in 2022.

Under the leadership of El Fakir, the National Tourism Office, within the framework of the new road map for the sector, launched an action plan for the period between 2023 and 2026 with the aim of attracting 17.5 million visitors within the next three years and achieving 13 percent as an annual growth rate. At the same time, it aims to include Morocco among the top ten global destinations most attractive to tourists around the world by 2026.

In view of the tourism capabilities that Morocco has, and the efforts being made to increase air transport capacity, Adel El Fakir recently expressed his confidence in achieving all goals, especially since his administration is carrying out broad marketing and promotional campaigns under the slogan "Morocco, Land of Lights", to include other destinations and forge new partnerships.

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