Category: Moroccan Revolution

Morocco looks to adopt a more active tourism promotion strategy to stave off the impacts of regional turmoil.

By Siham Ali for Magharebia in Rabat – 30/09/11

It has been a tough year for tourism in Morocco. The Arab Spring, the Marrakech bombing, the economic slowdown and the fact that Ramadan coincided with August all took a heavy toll on the sector, Tourism Minister Yasser Znagui said last week.

The sector growth dropped by 6% in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year. Znagui admitted that the growth was weak but added that it was higher than the global average of 4.5%.

Despite a downward trend, Morocco fared better this year than other North African countries. Tunisia witnessed a decrease in tourist arrivals by more than a third, and Egyptian tourism fell by 60%.

“Morocco is the only tourist destination in the region that came away with its head held high in 2011 despite a difficult situation marked in particular by the Arab revolutions,” the tourism minister said on September 21st at Top Resa, France’s biggest tourism fair.

Sociologist Amine Mrabti echoed the sentiment. The Arab world is perceived as a uniform whole by Westerners, he said, and events in one country affect the others on all levels.

Many industry insiders were disappointed with the figures. Ramadan, the beginning of the school year and regional turmoil have impacted tourism, said travel agent Mohamed Charrati.

“A lot of people opted to postpone their travels,” he said. “We’ve coped so far, but we fear the worst. Officials must come up with effective and fast solutions to support us and turn things around.”\

Domestic tourism should be encouraged by means of attractive offers, said economist Moha Zaki, and Morocco’s strategy on advertising in foreign countries should be reconsidered.

The tourism ministry vowed to ramp up its advertising campaign. The focal point will be the country’s diversity, with various aspects to be promoted to potential visitors: the seaside, rural Morocco, ecotourism, mountains, the desert and so on. The campaign will target the traditional markets of Western Europe.

Source: Magharebia.



Moroccans rallied in Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier on Sunday (September 25th), following a call for demonstrations by the February 20 Movement, Yabiladi reported. The Casablanca protest, which demanded political reforms and anti-corruption measures, drew some 10,000 people. In Rabat, some 1,000 people demonstrated for the release of political prisoners, including young rapper Mouad Al-Haqed, who was arrested on September 10th.

Source: Magharebia.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Thousands of Moroccans have once again taken to the streets to call for deep political changes despite recent reforms aimed at curbing powers of King Mohammed VI.

The demonstrations were held in the country’s biggest city of Casablanca as well as in Tangiers, Marrakesh and the capital city of Rabat on Sunday, AFP reported.

The demonstrations were organized by the February 20 movement, named after the date Moroccans, inspired by revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, first began their anti-government protests.

Protesters urged the government to fight corruption and called for “more social justice.

Demonstrators in Rabat also called for the release of a protester detained during rallies in Casablanca in June.

The king’s proposed reforms received people’s positive vote in a referendum on July 1. However, critics believe the changes do not go far enough.

The reforms include the transfer of some of the powers of the king to the prime minister and the parliament, but the king will remain the head of state and the military as well as the highest religious authority in the country.

The Moroccan government has announced that the country’s parliamentary elections will be held in November.

Source: PressTV.