A guide to socially-responsible travel in Morocco
“Travelling - it leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller.”
Ibn Battouta, Moroccan traveller and explorer of the 14th century
“We do not take a trip. The trip takes us and unmakes us, it invents us”
David Le Breton
Travelling is an exceptional opportunity to live things differently, an occasion for discovery, knowledge and sharing.
Getting to know others can only be possible through tolerance, openness and respect of differences, in a perpetual quest for mutually beneficial interchange between cultures and persons.
To guide you in this journey into discovery, we have designed this guide for your attention. Drawing its inspiration from the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, published by the World Tourism Organization of which Morocco is a member, this Guide provides the building blocks and principles for tourism activities full of satisfaction and cultural enrichment.
The responsible traveler: leisure/recreational activities can be a corporate citizen action
“It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.”
Ingrained prejudicial attitudes constrain openness and discovery opportunities: Morocco has always been a land of hospitality. Becoming aware of its culture and traditions adds to the authenticity of your travel experience, which will be all the more stimulated. Moroccans will hence respect you more and will guide you through your discovery. Display curiosity and show interest in tolerance and respect for local customs and habits…cultural differences can only be enriching. Paul Valéry did rightly say: “Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences”
“You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you”
When travel and respect go together: Take the time to understand more the customs and the traditions of Morocco and Moroccans. While being very open-minded, they may be offended by certain behaviors and attitudes that are unusual in their culture. Respecting their identity and their values is a first step in the experience of travel to other places and meeting with other people. You will be delighted to discover their generosity and openness in interacting with and accepting other’s cultures and beliefs.
“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting…
Our environment, our life, our future: Morocco stretches 3,500km of coasts on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, boasts endless beaches, mountain ranges reaching 4,000 meters in the Rif and Atlas, lush plains, sand dunes and oases making up sites of special ecological interest. In order to protect its natural assets, Morocco has embarked on a set of measures intended to develop tourism while preserving its environment through the ratification of several national and international environmental protection treaties. By supporting this environmental protection, you will contribute to the success and full implementation of this approach.
Refrain from buying products made of protected; threatened or endangered plants and/or species. By adopting simple gestures you will contribute to saving water and energy, which are scarce in Morocco. When traveling make sure you do not create wastes likely to pollute the environment. Your heightened awareness will make it possible not only to preserve Morocco as a host community, but also the environmental heritage of the planet.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page”
Culture without ruins: Morocco is a country firmly entrenched in history and culture; a true crossroads for civilizations and exchanges between north and south, East and West. These diverse cultures have offered Morocco extensive heritage in the form of architectural; artistic and cultural wealth, some of which appear among the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage; and many others which are still to be discovered for the enjoyment of visitors and tourists. For all these reasons, while enjoying the pleasures of recreation and discovery of Moroccan culture, we would like you to be careful that your activities do not interfere with the host community’s artistic, archeological and cultural heritage. Respecting this heritage will contribute to the continued existence of this eternal source of wonder and pleasure.
“Globe trotters the world over know this: it is in the streets that they get to feel the identity of a country, on all fronts: architectural beauty, politics, beliefs and economy”
Toward equitable tourism and sustainable development: In Morocco, the tourism industry is a vital sector and a vehicle for economic and social development in order to contribute actively in this development, be sure to buy handicraft objects and other locally made products while applying the principles of fair trade practices: price haggling should not interfere with a fair market price. Such objects will be testimonies of fairness and recollections of unforgettable moments.
“Travelling is not about changing places, it is rather about changing ideas.”
Human rights, guarantee for greater human dignity: Respect of human rights is also a fundamental principle and a practice worthy of all responsible travellers. Any form of exploitation defeats the very purposes and aims of the fundamental objectives of tourism, which calls for intercultural awareness, exchange, educational entertainment, personal development and discovery. You are certainly aware of the fact that sexual tourism, and particularly that involving children, constitutes a blatant prejudice to the human dignity. These acts are socially objectionable and reprehensible by the legislation of Morocco and the laws of the countries of origin; and as such are liable to prosecution and punishable by imprisonment.
“From Prevision comes Action”
No one is supposed to ignore the law: Last but not least, make sure to find out about the legislation so as to avoid committing any tort, indictable or quasi delictual act in the eyes of the Moroccan legislation. Abstain from engaging in any illicit trafficking in drugs, firearms, fine art objects, protected species, hazardous goods and/or substances as well as any other items banned by Moroccan and international legislations.
This information is intended to help you get the most of your trip and return to your country of origin with invaluable information, powerful and long lasting memories and the pride to have been a responsible and ethical tourist.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world”