Yes – Morocco is generally categorized as a third-world country. Although the country once suffered extreme poverty, today, Morocco is making great strides forward as a developing nation.
As of 2022, Morocco’s GDP per capita was recorded at $ 3,527.9, which equates to mediocre living conditions for a majority of its citizens. Bribery and corruption have stagnated the overall growth of the country’s economy, yet, it remains one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Africa.
Morocco On The World Map
Is Morocco Safe For Tourists?
Tourism is one of Morocco’s main foreign exchange earners so quite innately the government does all it can to induce a safe environment for tourists. However, that being said, it doesn’t eliminate all dangers one could face.
Just like many tourist destinations, scammers and pickpocketers are commonly found in Morocco, so it’s best to always be on alert for your belongings when travelling.
Pro Tip: Alcohol consumption is allowed in Morocco; however, it should be done in licensed hotels and bars. Public drinking is only allowed for tourists.
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How Big Is Tourism In Morocco?
Tourism is one of the largest economic contributors to Morocco and the continent. In 2019, before COVID-19 plummeted tourist arrivals, Morocco recorded upwards of 11 million visitors.
Its cultural versatility attracts tourists from around the world, and the country’s historic glory is renowned. Morocco boasts of its colourful mosaic walls and exquisite mosques that are famous photographic locations for many influencers and bloggers.
As the country is located near Spain, many European tourists head over to Morocco for a quick vacation.
What Are The Blue & Red Cities Of Morocco?
The city of Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue Pearl, is a famous tourist destination in Morocco’s northern region. Located in the Rif Mountains, its commonly referred to as the Blue City.
The Medina walls and streets of Chefchaouen are washed in various hues of blue and are simply captivating to look at.
On the other hand, Marrakesh – the second capital of Morocco has gained attraction as the ‘Red City’ of Morocco, which lies by the foothills of Atlas Mountain. Built in the 12th century by Almoravids, Marrakesh’s red-clay walls stretch 19km up to the UNESCO site Medina.
Commonly referred to as ‘Al-Hamra’ (red) by locals, the hue of the pink walls deepens during sundown, and it looks absolutely gorgeous.
Does Morocco Belong To Africa?
Morocco is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Although it belongs to the African continent, it is rarely recognized as an African country and is often mistaken for a Middle Eastern country.
The reason for this misconception is the skin colour of the people of Morocco. Unlike those from Sub-Saharan Africa, Moroccans take up a much lighter, Middle Eastern shade. It is also noteworthy to mention that Morocco is separated from Spain by the Gibraltar Strait – just a ferry ride away.
The Moroccan culture is greatly influenced by Europeans, even though it’s a Muslim country. Travellers can witness extravagant medieval architecture in most of the major cities.
Major International Airports In Morocco
Morocco is home to over 33 airports, but there are 12 major airports. List below:
- The Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca
- Nador International Airport in Nador
- Menara Airport in Marrakech
- Al Massira Airport in Agadir
- Ibn Batouta Airport in Tangier
- Saiss Airport in Fez
- Rabat-Sale Airport in Rabat
- Angdas Airport in Oujda
- Mogador Airport in Essaouira
- Tan Tan Airport in Tan Tan
- Ouarazazate Airport in Ouarazazate
- Cherif Al Idrissi Airport in Al Hoceima
Out of these airports, there are about 8 airports that are commonly used. These are based around Casablanca, Marrakesh, Agadir, Fez, Rabat, Tangier, Nador and Oujda.
Important Points To Remember When Visiting Morocco
When it comes to travelling in Morocco, clothing is one of the main factors tourists should pay attention to; As Morocco is a Muslim country, visitors have to dress appropriately. Women especially are expected to dress conservatively when visiting holy places.
Overall, when travelling to rural cities, it’s best to blend in with the crowd in terms of your dressing style, so you get to experience originality and won’t attract unnecessary attention. Some madrasas and mosques don’t permit non-Muslims.
If you are a non-Muslim, it’s better to know in advance which ones you’re allowed to visit so you can plan your vacation accordingly.
You should also keep in mind that locals speak Arabic as their first language but as the country is a tourist destination, many are able to conversate in simple English.
However, don’t expect refined conversations from store vendors and taxi drivers. Learn a few phrases in advance and be patient.
Apart from these, public display of affection is also frowned upon; Especially for unmarried couples. Even if you are travelling as a married couple, it is best to avoid kissing in public places.
Keep in mind to not act willfully in religious locations such as mosques as it could be deemed disrespectful.
There is no harm in capturing photos as many tourists do, so the locals are quite used to it. Additionally, you should know that homosexuality is illegal in Morocco as it is a Muslim country. It could even get you arrested.
If you are travelling with your partner, ensure to keep your affectionate acts low when in public places.