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Road to Cop22: green tourism in Marrakech


Road to Cop22: green tourism in Marrakech

The Moroccan city of Marrakech, which is hosting the Cop22 climate change summit in November, has dedicated itself to eco-tourism.

Marrakech, where culture and history merge in an ambitious vision for the future, has created a number of sustainable development initiatives.

‘Ochre city’
The city which is nicknamed “ochre city” is developing into a green city that encourages eco-tourism. More than 30 hotels carry the prestigious Green Key, the Eco label awarded to tourism establishments for ecological commitment and environmental responsibility.

Hotel Royal Mansour awarded Green Key
The luxury hotel in Marrakech, was recently awarded the Green Key because of its environmental responsibility, which encompasses staff and visitors alike.

“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,” the hotel’s managing director Jean-Claude Messant told Euronews.

Tourism is the second source of income in the kingdom – it makes up 12 percent of its GDP. In 2015 more than ten million tourists visited Morocco. The country’s national tourism office integrates environmental protection programmes into the tourism sector.

“We never wanted to develop mass tourism,” explained Abderrafie Zouiten, General Director of the National Tourism Office. “Morocco intends to emphasise the eco-tourism, its special tangible and intangible heritage, together with the tourism professionals, with 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 the Cop 22 is an extremely strong symbol of that,” continued Zouiten.

Jardin bio Aromatique

The investment in eco-tourism is based on numerous local initiatives in and around Marrakech such as the garden known as jardin bio aromatique d’Ourika, around 30 kilometers from ancient Médina.

It was created by a Moroccan family. The goal is to feature more than 50 regional plants, and to protect them through a variety of tourist activites, some serious, some more amusing.

“This garden is here to send a message of sustainable and responsible eco-tourism in Morocco,” the garden’s communication director Camila Belkamel told euronews. “The goal is to really contribute to educating people along the lines that everyone can take part in the logic of sustainable development whether its Morocco or elsewhere.”

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