Promotion of Rural Tourism in Morocco

The days of tourists wanting to only see the main attractions in a country and visiting the most popular destinations is slowly starting to come to an end. Visitors seem to be more interested in exploring the undiscovered beauty of a foreign country and in Morocco it is starting to be a trend that is growing in leaps and bounds. It is no longer strange to see tourists heading towards the desolate regions, forgotten villages and tranquility of the desert. It is for this reason that the tourism department has become involved in projects to promote the rural areas of Morocco.

The tourism industry in Morocco has been working tirelessly to achieve their goal of luring ten million visitors to the country by the year 2010. Most of their advertising and promotion campaigns have been focused on their beaches and more popular tourist destinations. But, with the increased interest in rural attractions and tours, the industry has changed gears and realized the value of promoting rural tourism as a way to attract more visitors and to encourage investment opportunities for expatriates, bringing all regions of their homeland to the forefront.

Rural tourism has proved to be successful in a few far reaching destinations such as Ida ou Tanane, Chefchaouen, Rachidia Desert, Zagora and Great Altas. Projects creating rustic inns and accommodation in locations such as Tata, Taroudant, Zagora and Haouz have enabled these towns and villages to welcome foreign visitors, boosting the local economy. The rural tourism project will therefore help establish twenty inns, which will include the installation of electricity, creating sanitary drainage systems and providing drinking water. These improvements will also be to the advantage of the entire community.

Improving accommodation and the tourism structure within the smaller villages, allows them to build the skills needed for dealing with tourists and gives locals a renewed source of income. It also gives visitors the opportunity to discover the beauty of the remote locations in Morocco, and opens up a world of culture, traditional crafts and unique exploration. The rural tourism project aims to breathe new life into the industry and into rural communities. For tourists, it means a greater variety of destinations and visiting parts of Morocco that have previously been missed out on.