Tourism vs Terrorism: Classic But Still Frightening

Hafsa Oubou w Abdou Mboup ANPT Senegal

Tourism like any other field is possible to be touched by any political, economic, and social world changes. For Morocco, the field is one of the most economic developments that the country relies on since the 60s, beside agriculture and fishing. Yet tourism in Morocco is the only infrastructure which is not stable due to its sensitivity to be influenced easily by surrounding factors. Tourism professionals in the international fair in Marrakech, Morocco Travel Market, discuss mainly three obstacles that lately Moroccan tourism suffers from: economic crisis, unemployment, and H1N1. Apparently, people forget about the fourth obstacle that frightens not only tourism in Morocco but in most of North African and Arab countries; it is terrorism. Nobody can deny that tourism in Mauritania is at its zero level because of terrorism and lack of security. Moroccan tourism did suffer from this global problem few years ago when 45 people in Casablanca were killed in three suicide bombings. Yet, it is a fact that Moroccan tourism is still touched by the hysteria of terrorism that North African and Arab countries sadly experience.

It is true that the media plays a crucial role to introduce nations, cultures, and people to each other. Also, it is true that media can negatively play that role and spread a misunderstanding that will make tourists afraid to visit a country just because their populations are Arab, Muslim, or African. A reality that tourism is affected by and professionals should find a way or another to fight this virus. Newstime Africa went to MTM in Marrakech and interviewed tourism professionals to know more about their vision towards the problematic issue of tourism and terrorism.

Hafsa Oubou w Christophe Lemoine Marrakech TV

Mr. Christophe Lemoine, the General Director of Marrakech TV (an audio-visual production agency based in Marrakech) thinks that “audio-visual is first television, it’s a means of media, it’s here to inform via security forms in order to avoid this constraint”. Concerning tourism in sub-Saharan countries that may be affected by terrorism due to its borders with other nations that suffer from this world issue, the marketing specialist in the National Agency for Touristic Promotion of Senegal Mr. Abdou Mboup states that his country is very stable but it still may be affected by terrorism for some tourists visit Senegal passing through Mauritania, for instance, that may not be able to offer security for them. Obviously, the best example here is what happened to Dakar Rally when it was stopped due to security threats in Mauritania in 2008. Finally, In a question about the extent to which tourism in Morocco is influenced by terrorism, Ms. Samira Chebihi Hassani, the Director of Training & RH in the National Federation for Tourism, says “Yes, we have spent hard times, but I think politically we are a stable country that is a secured destination for tourists”.

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