Moroccans in the earthquake-stricken tourist area are saddened by the losses and worried about the future

By Ahmed Al-Jashtimi

OURKAN VALLEY, Morocco (Reuters) – The Kasbah of Our Woman Beja guesthouse in Morocco’s picturesque Ouerrkane Valley has survived an earthquake that devastated the realm, however the proprietor’s bookings have collapsed and he’s involved about whether or not the realm can revive its vacationer attraction.

“The earthquake killed individuals and destroyed villages on which our tourism exercise relies upon,” mentioned Abdel Rahim Bouchbouq, proprietor of the nine-room guesthouse that was beforehand run by his grandfather.

Coping with the human tragedy brought on by the September 8 earthquake that killed greater than 2,900 individuals is everybody’s concern, however for a area that depends on vacationers touring alongside gorgeous valleys and mountain passes, shopping for native handicrafts or visiting now-destroyed websites, The financial future seems bleak.

“There aren’t any vacationers, no work, and no revenue,” mentioned Mohamed Aznaq, a waiter in a café within the devastated village of Tassa and Erkan, who misplaced his daughter within the earthquake and now fears for the supply of his livelihood that helps the remainder of his household.

He spoke whereas observing the ruins of the Dar Ezergan guesthouse, which collapsed within the quake, close to the now empty café the place he works.

Complete villages, principally properties and mud-brick buildings, have been lowered to piles of dust when the 6.8-magnitude quake struck, burying these inside and destroying companies in an space that depends on the vacationer path.

Tourism supplied very important extra earnings for a lot of, with few different employment alternatives exterior tilling the land on smallholdings.

“This was a means for a lot of native farmers to generate extra revenue,” mentioned Bouchbouk, whose visitor home in Kasbah Sayida employs 14 individuals.

Ahmed Bassem, a tour information within the Werkan space, who has been compelled to reside in a shelter tent because the earthquake, mentioned that the realm is in dire want of reconstruction. “However I hope that vacationers will proceed to go to in solidarity with us,” he mentioned.

The area, certainly one of Morocco’s poorest areas, is situated close to Marrakesh, a preferred vacationer vacation spot with luxurious accommodations, upscale buying malls and a historic souk.

Many hope that the earthquake won’t disrupt plans for the World Financial institution and Worldwide Financial Fund assembly scheduled to be held from October 9 to fifteen in Marrakesh.

The long-planned occasion “can be a chance for Morocco to advertise the vacation spot of Marrakesh once more after the earthquake,” mentioned Alhassan Zalmat, president of the Federation of the Tourism Trade of Morocco.

(Enhancing by Edmund Blair)

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