As a leading player in the “green” travel industry, Morocco pays close attention to sustainable tourism. At the outset of the 20th century, the continuous growth of tourism in Morocco began to take its toll on the country’s environment as well as the indigenous people. But unlike other nations, where tourism growth significantly damaged the environment, society and culture, Morocco seeks to take action to prevent harm from happening.
To visitors, the country offers a range of activities that focus on eco-tourism. While in Morocco, you have the unique opportunity to connect with local people in a meaningful way. Whether you’re interested in cooking, music, photography or art, resident instructors offers lessons in all of the above. The economic benefits, in turn, go directly to purchasing local products, or moreover, to the locals themselves.
In addition to immersing yourself in the local lifestyle and traditions, you can explore Morocco’s distinctive natural beauty in a sustainable way. There are numerous tailor-made Morocco holidays intended to protect the biodiversity of the country’s cities, mountains, deserts, plains, beaches and forests.
If you’re keen on experiencing the desert, head to Morocco’s Southern Draa Valley, where Moroccan dynasties used to settle. Once an important transit point on the trans-Saharan caravan route, the Draa Valley is now a one-of-a-kind place to pitch a tent in nature. The Oualidia region similarly offers environmental desert walks and overnight trips into the mountains as well as sea kayaking and bicycle tours. While you’re there, you’ll also get to spot migrant birds, such as flamingos, warblers, egrets and storks.
For a more personal experience with an animal, get ready to sit on a mule and head to the Atlas Mountains, accompanied by a guide, of course. Breathing in the fresh air, you’ll get to see nature in a sustainable way. But ecological friendliness doesn’t end when the sun goes down; to get a good night’s sleep, stay at the Kasbah Du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains, considered one of the top accommodations promoting environmental awareness. The mountain retreat moreover retains very close links with the local Berber community.
If you’re up for tasting traditional Berber specialties, head to the Farm of Lalla Abouch, just south of Essaouira. Here, you can sample locally grown products such as olive oil, organic poultry and vegetables, while surrounded by sand dunes and beaches. Numerous animal species and their habitats, including the turtle breeding areas, remain unharmed in Essaouira.
That’s just a taste of all the sustainable accommodations and excursions Morocco has to offer. The country continues to work actively on conserving its natural and cultural heritage, while visitors appreciate the preservation of the country’s diversity and keep coming back for more.
Photo by austinevan.