The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced its first destination partner from Morocco has joined – the Regional Tourism Council Agadir Souss Massa Draa. ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz said: “Morocco is committed to steering its tourism efforts in a sustainable manner with respect for the environment and its people. Its plans for responsible tourism fit in very well with ICTP’s aim to promote quality and green growth tourism.”
In 2006, Morocco created a responsible tourism charter, with the objectives to preserve the culture, values, traditions, and identity of the Moroccan environment. This charter is a commitment integrated in the “2010 vision” plan of Morocco, which aims to become one of the first twenty world destinations.
Thanks to its richness, the Souss Massa Daraa region has an objective of making lasting tourism its first magnet, by developing its natural resources through responsible and perpetual management. The Regional Council of Tourism in Agadir Souss Massa Daraa has taken important actions in order to safeguard nature.
Its “Agenda 21” places tourism and lasting development as the second priority of the city’s project. It purports international cooperation for pertinent projects revolving around the Argan tree, cactus preservation, and the education of rural women. For that purpose, many women’s cooperatives have been developed. In 2009, the “Ecolodge Atlas Kasbah” project received an eco-tourism label, for its work based on good management of natural resources and preservation of the environment.
The Regional Tourism Council prepared a responsible traveler’s guide intended for every tourist in Morocco. It is an invitation to adopt certain rules and behaviors which are respectful of the country’s local values. The organizations of touristic development themselves have to pay attention to the traditions and the culture of regions and populations and respect those values. Tourism activity has to respect cultural richness by being conceived in a way to permit the following up and the blooming of the cultural, traditional, and folkloric productions, and not to provoke standardization and impoverishment. It is also the duty of all the organizations to respect the environment through touristic development that safeguards the environment and the natural resources in the perspective of lasting economic growth, and also to fairly satisfy the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.