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Morocco: Mountain tourism frozen by the pandemic

Des guides locaux dans la neige dans la ville d'Azrou, à 89 km au sud de Fès, dans la province d'Ifrane, au nord du Maroc, dans les montagnes de l'Atlas.   -  
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FADEL SENNA/AFP or licensors


The closure of the borders, more than a year ago due to the health crisis, has blocked foreign tourists attracted by the beauty of Morocco's snow-capped Atlas mountains.

Moulay Abdellah Lahrizi, 55, owner of the Auberge des Jardins d'Azrou, has lost 70% of his clientele.

"We hope to be able to see foreign tourism in the country as soon as possible because that's what really saves the situation because it's tourism that runs all year round and runs every day. And then we, as guides, as lodge owners, we receive tourists like those every day. Other than that, local tourism is really a good thing, it has saved our work, but it's not sufficient," said Moulay Abdellah.

Although the influx of foreign tourists had significantly reduced over the past few months, Local tourism seem to have saved the day.

Youssef Mouhyi, director of the "Maison de la cédraie", also had his view:

"This region has been more or less saved by local tourism because we are in a fairly open region, we are in the ecotourism sector, so thank God, there is traffic, there are people coming, visiting the region. We are also mainly helped by Ifrane, a region in great demand where there are demand and many visits."

In the heart of the immense cedar forest located near Azrou, and Ifrane, the guides wander, idle and some venture in Amazigh poetry to ward off boredom.

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