more to do than just lying on the beach
Is Morocco a Safe Destination for My Holiday?
By JL Farmer
In the age that we now live in, security is of paramount concern and importance and especially comes to mind when planning a holiday in an overseas destination. We all know about the war against terrorism so there is no need for me to expound on the political implications of this subject. Therefore, the pertinent question in this article is - IS MOROCCO A SAFE DESTINATION FOR MY HOLIDAY?
It is likely that most people go on holiday for an affordable, relaxing holiday in a sunny destination that is not going to cause any problems. Does Morocco tick all the boxes for such a holiday? Let's find out...
Tourism statistics in Morocco for year 2016 have been somewhat down in numbers. It is my personal belief that the reason for this slight downturn is because some people don't do their homework properly when it comes to finding out if a particular destination is an overall safe country to visit.
Most of us already know the horror stories coming out of Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia with regards to attacks on the tourist industry but there are likely quite a few people who add Morocco into the equation and become afraid to visit this country. While the North African nation is considered safe, instability in neighboring countries prompts decline in foreign visitors. Tourism minister Lahcen Haddad said Morocco has lost tourists because of unwarranted fears about safety prompted by continuing unrest in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt as well as recent attacks by terrorists in Turkey.
Just to say further... a few years ago, here in Agadir, I was talking with a family from northern Europe and had a friendly conversation by the hotel swimming pool with the daughter who was fifteen years old. When the afternoon call to prayer happened she said that she disliked hearing it. "Well, you are in a Moslem country in North Africa" I said. "No we're not, we are in Europe" she replied and when I gently explained to her that we are not in Europe she was shocked. Yet this was her third visit to Morocco and she still did not know that Morocco is a Moslem country in North Africa.
The peak seasons for travel to Morocco are the months of July and August (primarily Moroccan tourists who come down from Europe) and the period for the south of Morocco extends from the end of October to the end of March - the warm winter season. Many European tourists arrive in the winter time, many of them with camper vans. Every lunchtime from around 12:30pm to around 3pm every table at the restaurants on the Talborjt square is taken, so it's best to arrive early to secure a table.
The No-Go areas of Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Libya
Who wants to visit countries that are unsafe because of their failed border security regime against terrorism? Tunisia cannot manage its border with Libya, Egypt has inadvertently allowed a safe haven for the bad guys in northern Sinai and Turkey hasn't been paying proper attention to its border with Syria.
Besides the which, visits to these three countries can be unpleasant. The good old days of mass tourism have now gone. Who wants children pulling your arms all day long for money because their father is out of work because of the lack of tourists? If you give them money, within a couple of minutes you will have a hoard of children crowding around you and pressuring you for money. And men chasing you down the Luxor Corniche then causing a fist fight with another caleche owner because he claims he saw you first? Most unpleasant. And very common, too, not just me.
Many of the caleche horses in Luxor have died because their owners found it difficult to even feed their families as well as caleche horses around the Pyramids of Giza. We visited Egypt for two months every year from 2007 to 2015 (three months in year 2008) but we're not going back there any time soon.
The governments of these countries must take responsibility for the welfare of their own people and not allow any kind of moral guilt to be pressured onto tourists. Tourists in Egypt have been continually ripped-off down the years by shop keepers and now the same shop keepers are feeling the pinch. We know of one seller (not the shop owner) in the souk in Luxor who had to sell his wife's extensive gold jewellery collection to put food on the table - a collection arguably acquired from his commission from overcharging tourists in the shop.
I took down four websites I had freely hosted on Egypt, much to the disappointment of my friends over there. I will not be a conduit for any bad stuff happening in Egypt. Read my article: "So What About Egypt? Is it Safe to Go There?"
So then, is it safe to visit Morocco?
In view of the current massive wave of winter tourists in Agadir it would appear feasible to say that many winter-time tourists from northern Europe are choosing Agadir as a safe holiday alternative to visiting the current no-go countries of Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. I get emails all the time from people in northern Europe asking me questions on many various topics concerning Agadir and Morocco.
I don't want to spread too much of my own opinion in this article except to say that I have been travelling in the Arab world since 1970, visiting Morocco since 1979 and love this country and its people very much. I invite you to read the links I have provided at the end of this article so that you can decide if you would like to visit Morocco for your holiday.
I hope that this article has been of interest to you and wish you a very happy and enjoyable visit to Morocco.
Article posted August 28th, 2017
may be updated with further links
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A BIG "Shukran" to Moroccan Security for keeping us safe
My article: "Security in Morocco"
May 18, 2017: "How Morocco Leads the Fight Against Terrorism"
"As extremist violence reaches unprecedented levels in the Arab world and globally, Morocco has emerged as a world model of success in the fight against terror."
November 24, 2016: "Morocco Helps Prevent a Terrorist Attack in France"
August 2016: "Morocco’s Approach to Countering Violent Extremism" (pdf)
January 27, 2016: "Morocco Declaration: Muslim Nations Should Protect Christians from Persecution"
"The objectives of the Charter of Medina provide a suitable framework for national constitutions in countries with Muslim majorities, and the United Nations Charter and related documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are in harmony with the Charter of Medina, including consideration for public order," states the Marrakesh Declaration."Read the Marrakesh Declaration
November 25, 2015: "How Morocco Became a World Leader in Combating Terrorism"
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