Shaming Morocco

By | Category: Travel rumblings

One again, there has been a terrorist outrage directed at tourists. This time it was in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco where two female university students from Norway and Denmark were killed and it is with their families that our sympathies are.

Morocco has been judged to be pretty safe for tourists but, in the past, has seen terrorist attacks. Back in 2011, people were killed in a restaurant bombing.

The violent killings have shocked not just the two Scandinavian countries but also Morocco itself. Yesterday, many people turn up to a vigil outside the two embassies in the Moroccan capital of Rabat in memory of the two. The killings have shamed a country which has been perceived by many holidaymakers as one of the safest in North Africa.

Just as with terrorist attacks elsewhere, some tourists will be worried about holidaying in Morocco but not holidaying in a destination gives succour to terrorists.

The Atlas Mountains (and the Rif Mountains) are popular with tourists seeking adventure holidays, one of the main areas of tourism growth in the country. But other destinations well known to holidaymakers include Casablanca, Fes, Agadir, Tangiers and Marrakesh.

As with the attacks in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, potential holidaymakers should be aware but not deterred from holidaying there. That the country has been free from attacks for seven years is an indication of how successful the security forces have been in maintaining safety. Very quickly, thirteen people have been arrested in connection with the attack and the spontaneous reaction of many Moroccan’s in decrying the terrorist atrocity and coming out for the vigil suggests that there is anger and shame at the murders. This will also probably lead to even greater security measures.

That should help to reassure future holidaymakers.

There is no suggestion that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office will alter its advice on holidaying there which was updated with news of the attack just two days ago. That no Britons or Irish were involved is probably why media coverage has not been as heavy as it might have been. Yet between the two countries, they are responsible for about 6.5-7% of all travellers to the country.

Morocco will be hoping that this hasn’t deterred us from holidaying there as the time when we think about summer holidays arrives.

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