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Road to COP22: Green Tourism in Marrakech


Morocco sets up a number of initiatives in sustainable development as it prepares to host the Conference on Parties (COP22). In our series “Road to COP22”, we take you to the discovery of various projects on Moroccan territory.

Our journey starts in Marrakech, the city that will host the next world climate conference, COP22, between November 7 and 18, a city that has already dedicated itself to eco-tourism.”

The city of Marrakech, where culture and history merge in an ambitious vision for the future. The city encourages eco-tourism. More than 30 hotels have been awarded the “Green Key” for ecological commitment.

The luxury Hotel Royal Mansour was recently awarded the “Green Key” because of its environmental responsibility, which involves staff and visitors.

“We care for the planet, we care on how we provide services to our guests, educating our people (employees) in terms of the water, the electricity, the garbage, it is very important,” Jean-Claude Messant, the hotel’s managing director said.

Tourism makes up twelve percent of the kingdom’s GDP. In 2015 more than ten million tourists visited Morocco. Its national tourism office integrates environmental protection programmes into the sector.

“We never wanted to develop mass tourism. Morocco intends to emphasise eco-tourism, its special heritage, together with tourism professionals, and the regions. We have a plan, a charter of sustainable tourism to really emphasize this speciality. This is the future, green tourism. Morocco has taken an important place on the international level and Cop 22 is an extremely strong symbol of that,” Abderrafie Zouiten, General Director of the National Tourism Office noted.

The investment in eco-tourism is based on many local initiatives such as this garden called “jardin bio aromatique d’Ourika”, just outside ancient Médina.

Its goal is to feature more than 50 regional plants, and to protect them through a variety of tourist activities, some serious, some more amusing.

According to Camila Belkamel, Communication Director of the Jardin Bio Aromatique D’Ourika; “This garden is here to send a message of sustainable and responsible eco-tourism in Morocco. The goal is to educate people so that everyone can take part in sustainable development whether its in Morocco or elsewhere.”

Stay tuned for part two of our special coverage of COP22. Don’t forget to also visit our dedicated page for the coverage (it can be found on our navigation bar).

CLICK FOR MORE Africanews Special COP22 Page