If you haven’t decided on the destination of your summer holiday, take a quick look at Morocco – where prices are on the slide, thanks largely to the never-ending eurozone crisis.
Morocco itself, of course, is actually outside the eurozone – but that isn’t insulating it from big problems which look set to get worse, as a new French President begins the task of trying to crank up a sluggish economy.
Nick Anstead, managing director of the operator Specialist Morocco, says: “This is a problem which really has been getting gradually worse over the past three or four years.
“The supply of accommodation available, notably in the riads, has been increasing at a rapid rate. Many of these riads are French-owned and the French market has always been hugely important to Morocco, especially in cities such as Marrakech, which now offers a choice of more than 1,800 riads in which to stay.
“Unfortunately, the French have simply stopped travelling, leaving thousands of riad bedrooms empty.
“The result of this is a price war which has seen accommodation prices drop dramatically and UK-based operators that own properties in Marrakech, such as Specialist Morocco, are being dragged into it.
“Consequently, there has probably never been a more cost-effective time for UK travellers to visit Morocco. In an attempt to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market, we are pricing our four-star riads at three-star prices.”
Specialist Morocco offers two properties in Marrakech, the newly opened eight-bedroomed Riad Africa and the four-bedroomed Maison Africa, both of which are available for groups to rent. The 18th century Maison Africa is located in the heart of the bustling city’s old town (Medina) and is perfect for one, two or three couples, and large family groups, sleeping 6-12 guests in four spacious en-suite bedrooms – one of which is an Arabian Nights-style caidal tent located on the roof terrace.
A three-night B&B break here now starts at £75 per person (four sharing), or even from £38 (eight sharing).
Anstead says: “The situation in Morocco is particularly attractive to British visitors, who enjoy such a wide range of budget airline flights from Gatwick (easyJet, BA and Thomson), Stansted/Luton (both Ryanair), Heathrow (bmi) and Manchester (easyJet). Outside the real peak season, it is perfectly possible now to get seven nights’ B&B in a hotel for around £150, plus return flights beginning around £150.”