Many merchants, craftsmen, and some actors in the tourism field in Marrakesh fear that tourism in this city will be affected, after the devastating earthquake whose epicenter was located in the Ighil community in the Al Haouz province in the Marrakesh region.
Although the violent earthquake did not greatly affect the infrastructure in the city of Marrakesh, as much as it greatly harmed the villages far from the city center in the mountains, as it left the majority of victims there, the perpetrators fear that tourism will be harmed, since tourists primarily visit mountainous areas, villages, and other remote terrain. About the city center, which is now affected by the earthquake.
Marrakesh is considered one of the most important Moroccan cities in terms of its tourist fame, so much so that it has become called the tourist capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, and this is how Arabs and various tourists in the rest of the world know it, as it contains important historical landmarks that reflect the strength of the countries that passed through it, especially the Almoravids and Almohads, as well as terrain that attracts tourists between… Mountains, waterfalls, etc.
Aziz, an association activist, told Al Jarida 24 in response to the question of whether tourism in Marrakesh could be harmed by the recent earthquake: “In the short term, this earthquake will create an economic and social problem, as it is expected that the flow of tourists to the city of Marrakesh and its environs will decrease.
But the collective actor himself realized that in the long term, things will return to what they were, and the tourist movement will return to its previous state.
He pointed out that what will reassure tourists the most is that although this earthquake caused human losses in the ancient city of Marrakesh in particular, it did not affect the hotels, as no cracks or collapses have been recorded so far in any of the hotels in the city of Marrakesh.
The same spokesman indicated that the tourist infrastructure in the city of Marrakesh was not damaged, and there is no report, so far, proving damage to the infrastructure in this city.
The same association activist pointed out that we must bear in mind that the earthquake that struck the region was very strong, which means that it is natural for structures to fall and leave behind deaths.
He pointed out that what is important is to turn this problem that has afflicted Marrakesh, its surroundings, and its residents into a point of strength, and to exploit this negative thing intelligently, so that Marrakesh becomes a tourist destination par excellence, even more than it is now.
For her part, university researcher in media and communication sciences, Shahida Lakhawaja, who is considered one of the sons and residents of the city of Marrakesh, considered that tourism in the latter would be greatly affected in the wake of the earthquake that struck the city and various neighboring areas.
Speaking to Al Jarida 24, Lakhawaja pointed out that this earthquake “hit the tourist season at its peak.”
The spokeswoman was surprised by the many statements made by experts and scientists in the field of geology, tectonics, and seismology, indicating that they were aware that the region was threatened by earthquakes at any time, without public actors taking precautions regarding this, including the structures that were allowed to be built using primitive and fragile means. , which will fall to the ground with just a slight shock.
Lakhawaja wondered about the extent of integration and coordination between the government and its institutions and between the experiments and scientific research reached by scientists and experts when embarking on providing infrastructure in the city, which requires integrating the results of scientific research into all phases of preparing the city at various levels.
It is noteworthy that the economy of the city of Marrakesh is mainly based on tourism activity and traditional industry, in addition to being known for tourism at international conferences and events, as it is visited by tourists from various countries of the world.
Marrakesh attracts nearly half of the local tourism activity thanks to its tourism structure, as it includes about 70,000 beds in 250 classified hotels and more than 1,300 guest houses, according to official statistics issued last year.
According to data issued by the Tourism Observatory, the number of tourists arriving at Marrakesh Menara Airport last June reached 265,000 passengers, compared to 77,000 arriving at Al Massira Airport in Agadir, which is also a favorite tourist destination for tourists after Marrakesh.