Tourism for a better future

Sustainable tourism in Morocco generates income and employment for the rural population.

ITB Berlin, said to be the world’s leading travel trade show, is being held from 7 to 11 March. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is taking part, presenting insights into its projects.

New tourism products are opening up job prospects in rural Morocco. If it is designed to be sustainable and innovative, tourism provides a basis for livelihoods, especially for women and young people.

The project, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), promotes sustainable tourism near nature parks and other protected areas where nature and culture attract visitors. The intervention helps local partners build on what they are already offering to tourists and develop new, innovative services. In addition, local cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises receive support in producing high-quality natural products – for instance, cultivating argan trees and processing and marketing argan oil in the Souss-Massa region.

Argan oil enables many women in the mountainous terrain of Souss-Massa to earn a reliable income. The women are also protecting the region’s natural heritage at the same time. Argan oil is used around the world as a culinary oil and as an additive in cosmetic products.

The project will generate additional employment and income for at least 2,000 people by 2020 through sustainable tourism and associated products and services. Some 2,000 individuals will receive information on business opportunities relating to sustainable tourism, at least half of them women and a quarter of them young people and young adults. In parallel, new and innovative tourism programmes are being introduced and promoted, for example in climbing, fishing, birdwatching, trekking and hiking. The project forms part of BMZ’s special initiative to promote stability and development in the Middle East and North Africa.