Alongside conventional tourism, Marrakech with its rural hinterland is the best place to attract a large number of visitors interested in ecotourism, adventure and educational travel. The national sector offers the seaside and cultural tourism. It is linked to the responsible, integral aspect of equitability and sustainability.
Despite the popularity of this kind of tourism to certain clients including the French and the English, many professionals believe that this industry still needs some improvement and that multiple strengths and untamed landscapes the region offers are not utilized as it should be. The avid tourist will be able discover the advantages of rural life and will be willing to get involved in sustainable development, help protect the environment and to support the people of the areas visited.
Today, most tourists look interactivity with the locals and try to understand the national culture, to the extent that it is in the countryside they find this originality and authenticity, especially those tourists who want to make their contribution to the building of local development.
Rural tourism is primarily a matter of local actors. It encourages meetings and sharing of riches of land practiced with holidaymakers who come to enjoy the fresh air of the countryside or the mountains. The development of this sector and its value necessarily involves campaigns of cleanliness and sanitation in Douars and souks, the fight against the growing problem of harassment of tourists and the establishment of an umbrella organization bringing together regional authorities, local officials, communities and tourism professionals.
Promoting rural tourism, which attracts between 170,000 and 200,000 visitors, also remains dependent on the village infrastructure of roads, hostels and houses, electricity, drinking water and sewerage. Especially since the tourist Vision 2020 puts the issue of sustainable development and the environment at the top of its priorities, it provides the capitalization of assets particularly the natural and cultural resources for the socio-economic growth.
The need to exploit the great potential available in the region, to raise awareness among tour operators and local people of the importance of this sector must be taken into consideration. The development of rural tourism in the region is likely to strengthen further the position of Marrakech as the first tourist destination in the Kingdom now that the strategic vision 2020 sets out a goal of doubling the size of the sector and hoisting Morocco among the world’s top 20 tourist destinations in 2020.