What is ecotourism ?

The word ecotourism is often used unproperly. It is often used to qualify nature tourism or rural tourism. But ecotourism is more than just rural or nature tourism, it also means respecting a certain ethics including an engagement in favor of nature conservation, the implication of local communities and fair benefits for them.
Ecotourism is a form of sustainable tourism, which tries to minimize its impact on natural environment, not only in an informative way but also with concrete actions on the ground to increase the awareness toward nature conservation and actions to protect the local biodiversity.

The terms nature tourism and rural tourism cover all activities taking place in a natural or rural environment including some activities which do not always bring benefits to the local population or even some which may cause damages to the environment (like quad or even trekking or mountain biking if it is not done in a responsible manner...). Obviously Maroc Ecotourisme promotes operators of real ecotourism in Morocco but also, in a larger extent, operators of nature or rural tourism who work with respect towards nature's fragility, and towards biodiversity and local cultures. We know that our selection of operators is based on a rather subjective appreciation. We prefer a less important ecological engagement and a true sensibility towards nature, biodiversity and local culture rather than "green washing" done by people who have no interest in nature. Of course our preference goes to people who have a true interest in nature and local culture combined with an ecological approach.

Today tourism, even ecotourism requires the use of highly polluting means of transportation. Most tourists fly to Morocco, some travel by boat or by car. Travelling in a more responsible way means trying to reduce the negative impact of the inbound and outbound transportation. Some airlines now offer the possibility to compensate your carbon emissions but we are not sure this is a real solution because it makes people believe that they can still travel more and more often as long as they compensate, which does not seem to be a good solution. A more responsible behaviour, whenever possible, would be to reduce the number of flights, fly less and stay longer when you fly. Obviously if you travel to Morocco it is better to travel once on a 10 day trip rather than twice on a 5 day trip !! One always needs time to feel the true flavor of a country, this is particularly true in Morocco where anyone who is in a hurry can be driven mad very quickly!

"Discover and learn more about Moroccan biodiversity to better protect it"
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