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MIGRATION, DÉVELOPPEMENT ET CITOYENNETÉ
Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Université Moulay Ismaïl, Meknès
18-19 décembre 2015
Le rôle des rémigrées comme lifestyle-entrepreneur dans le secteur touristique au milieu rural
Andreas Kagermeier (Université de Trèves, Allemagne)
Migrants are often thought to have a positive impact on the economy in their region of origin. The remittances foster the consumption level of the family members of emigrants left behind. Moreover, when they return home during summer holidays, they tend to show a quite impressive demonstration of their success by explicitly trying to show off their wealth. Rural areas with a high degree of emigration (whether national or international) usually are covered with buildings that try to impress passers-by by their size and their conspicuous decor.
Empirical findings in the Eastern Rif have shown that many emigrants are gone forever. And those who return often return involuntarily and are unable to find the paradise they sought on the northern shore of the Mediterranean. Anyhow, of course, there are traces of former emigrants or emigrants still living outside their region of origin who invest not only in the housing sector, but also try to establish a business. If the investor is still living outside the region, often other members of the family run the business.
Quite a few such investments can be found in the tourism sector which – especially after the turn of the millennium and the famous “Accord Cadre” signed in 2001 – tried to benefit from the intensification of the tourism orientation of the destination of Morocco. Most of the time, remigrants and emigrants engaged in the tourism industry attempt to establish their own business. Rare are the cases where multiple (former) emigrants put their savings together to form some kind of cooperative, enlarging their business options.
A look at the situation of (former) emigrants as investors in the tourism sector is done with the Schumpetrian notion of entrepreneurship. Apart from the ideal type one often has in mind when thinking of small business owners as entrepreneurs – and thus potential locomotives of regional economic development – quite a few other types can be identified. Among them, the so-called lifestyle entrepreneur seems to be a type which is quite often to be found among emigrants’ engagements in (tourism) businesses. Pursuing a business for pleasure or for the prestige it gives is sometimes nothing more than the demonstrative consumption of someone driving a powerful Mercedes.
So it is rare to see cases when tourism businesses are run by someone who gained their experience abroad or in other parts of Morocco. Some of these cases will be illustrated, reflecting at the same time with the leadership approach which role they might play in the tourism industry … and why they most of time do not function as the leadership concept supposes them to do.