In this very first episode of Jetset Times Podcast, we focus on ethical tourism in Morocco by speaking with Sheree Hooker (UK), founder of Winging the World travel blog, about the ethics regarding camel riding. We also had the privilege to chat with Abla Terrab Maskri (Marrakech) from the NGO Amal Women’s Center & Moroccan Restaurant which trains disadvantaged Moroccan women with cooking skills and job placement.
Ethical tourism is one of the latest travel trends, and for good reason, tourists need to be aware of the consequences they may have on the people and environment they are visiting. This guide provides a brief outline of researched locations in Morocco that are ethical. To determine what is ethical in these locations we looked at options for places to eat, see, shop and stay that are beneficial to the local community and/or the environment.
When eating out or going for drinks in Morocco some beneficial tips are to eat and drink from independent restaurants. Staying away from chains is a great way to ensure that your food is being sourced from the local community. Also remember that Morocco is a desert-nation so water is a valuable resource, make sure to be aware of your water consumption when traveling to Morocco. Here are some options for ethical eateries in Morocco.
Organic Kitchen in Casablanca, Morocco
6-8 Rue Ahmed El Mokri, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
A popular restaurant in Casablanca and a great option for ethical and sustainable eating is the Organic Kitchen. The restaurant prides itself on having ingredients that come from organic or sustainable farming and each meal is cooked with respect and love.
Amal in Marrakech, Morocco
Rue Allal Ben Ahmed, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Amal is a non-profit organization formally known as Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant. The organization helps disadvantaged women gain experience by training them in food preparation. Amal offers cooking classes every morning, except for Sundays, which allow for the guests to cook with the women and then eat the food later. This is a great opportunity to volunteer in the community and enjoy some delicious Moroccan food.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Morocco is camel tours but when it comes to animals its important to avoid exploitation and maltreatment. When planning travel by camel make sure that you are using an ethical and animal-friendly organization. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to camel riding: make sure the animal looks healthy and don’t overload it, a camel should carry no more than 150kg (331lb).
Morocco Ecotours trip from Marrakech to Fes via the Sahara Desert
Hay Inara, Bloc C19,, Marrakech 40130, Morocco
Morocco Ecotours is proud of its ethical and eco-tourism efforts, therefore their eco-tours and treks are great options to explore Marrakech and Morocco ethically. The trek from Marrakech to Fes includes a camel ride.
Andalusian Gardens in Rabat
This beautiful public garden has a variety of exotic plants, flowers and fruit trees. Perfect for a tranquil day with nature.
There are dozens of great artisanal shops to buy from in Morocco. The best tips for ethical tourism is to buy locally made items and/or from places that give back to the community. Here are some great options for markets that benefit the community.
Derb Ghallef Flea Market in Casablanca
Boulevard Raphael, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
The Derb Ghallef Flea Market is a great eco-friendly option for shopping in Casablanca. Selling mainly second-hand items it is a chance to reuse and recycle items as well as get a good bargain!
Al Kawtar Women’s Cooperative in Marrakech
Derb Zaouia Laffihia 3 Mouassine, Marrakech – Medina
The beauty of this unique store is in the vision behind it. The Cooperative sells products by local women with disabilities. In turn, the women receive salaries, training, and childcare. On top of Al Kawtar’s brilliant mission, beautifully stitched and embroidered items are also sold, made from local cloth- it truly is a lovely store to stop by.
When it comes to resorts and hotels some great options are to stay at family-owned beds and breakfasts or places that have made promises of sustainability. These two hotels are great options for an eco-friendly and ethical trip.
Ouirgane Ecolodge – Atlas Mountain Retreat Hotel
Maghira Ouirgane 1، Ouirgane 42152, Morocco
Though the Ouirgane Ecolodge is a 70 min drive from Marrakech city center if you are looking for an escape from the city and are looking for ethical and eco-friendly accommodations look no further. Located within the Oasis of the Toubkal National Park, the retreat is surrounded by nature and the beauty of Morocco. The lodge also works to have these five concepts realized: water conservation, energy conservation, waste management, integration with the landscape, and respect of the environment.
Ave Hassan II, Casablanca 20070, Morocco
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts have made a major sustainability effort at their Casablanca site. Paper, glass bottles and cans are all recycled there as part of the Hotel’s waste management activities. The Hotel also promotes a voluntary environment protection program for guests, through re-using their towels and bed linen. By re-using these items the hotel saves on energy and water use as well as less chemical usage.