Taounate as a great promising tourist destination in the ecotourism and rural tourism marketplace after the pandemic.
Taounate province has great tourist potentials, which could make it a pioneering tourist destination over the Fez-Meknes region particularly in the rural tourism and ecotourism marketplace which becomes globally as an alternative market for pre corona tourism industry. The province is endowed with tremendous natural diversity made up essentially of fertile and varied forest cover, dams, hillside lakes, water springs ( Bouadel water resort with a flow rate of 250 liters / second ) and valleys. It also has great historical and cultural attractions basically represented in Amergou fortress in Moulay Bouchta khamar, Horse Festival in Tissa and Snoussi in Alkaria and religious seasons ( Moussem of Moulay Bouchta Al-Khamar and Al-Arabi Al-Darqawi ).
All these qualifications could make the region, if optimally invested, a tourist pole par excellence over the region of Fes- Meknes.
The region holds breathtaking natural sites, including:
- Ouadka Forest in Ghafsai is a fertile natural area known with the richness of its fresh water, the diversity of its vegetation cover, and its height, which reaches 1600 meters. The hiking and biking activities are highly suggested in this area
- Bouadel is a beautiful mountainous town nestled at the foot of Kil mounts which includes a water source with a flow rate of 250 liters per second. This resort offers beautiful landscapes made up from the density of fruit trees, the abundance of cold fresh water flowing from different places of mountains. This place can be a great opportunity for those who like doing sport mountain activities.
- Taounate region has many caves, which can be invested and valorized in promoting and diversifying the tourism offer in the region, the most well-known of which are (Aarous Cave in Sidi El-Makhfy, Cave of Sidi Ali bin Daoud in Bani Berber and Bared Cave in Sidi Masoud mount … etc.)
The province also has several historica sites.
Here are the most important forteresses:
- Amergou Fortress in Moulay Bouchta Khamar.
- Slass Zaouia Fortress in Gafsya.
- Taourda Fortress in Ghafsay.
- Mezayat Fortress in Taounate.
- Awlad Ikhlef Fortress in Taounate
Taounate, with its diverse products, can be developed to become one of the most important tourist destinations in Morocco. It can contribute greatly to the progress and advancement of the northern region into high levels. It has significant natural and cultural attractions including forests, diversity of flora and fauna, and native handicrafts. Taounate has a historical heritage consisting of ancient fortresses, and various Moussems which are celebrated every year. Taounate also has its colorful Tissa Horse Festival.
One of the great places which could be turned into a tourist attraction in Taounate is the Ourtzagh-Tafrant zone. It has a good strategic site for a tourist destination because of its fascinating natural and cultural potentials. Ourtzagh-Tafrant zone also has existing tourist accommodations, and activities like pottery handicrafts ongoing in Ain Bouchrik and organic farming in Gite Kissan and Dar Lala Zhor in Onsar Village in Ourzagh , and a Skifa Cultural Festival in Skiffa Village in Tfrant, among others.
Therefore, this rural zone has a lot to offer to tourists especially to those searching for authentic cultural related activities, nature related activities, and water related activities.
The Taounate region in general is still undiscovered and unexploited as a tourist spot. The mountainous villages, pastoral simple life and traditions of the natives, folklores, thousand rivers and water streams, dams, and the ethnic and cultural diversity (Arab and Amazigh) would certainly make the Taounate region, when fully developed with appropriate infrastructures, to become one of the best tourist destinations in Morocco.
TAOUNATE ECO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OR THE TETDP
Thus, the birth of the Taounate Eco Tourism Development Project (TETDP) has come as the first leading sustainable initiative and road map for tourism promotion, human development and capability-building for locals, as well as for environmental protection in the Taounate region.
The need for coming up with a clear development policy, law with implementing rules and regulations, and understandable guidelines for cooperating entities has become a matter of urgency.
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TAOUNATE ECO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OR THE TETDP?
It is a sustainable tourism plan launched by the Taounate Eco Tourism Discoveries. In its early conceptualization, and formulation of strategic programs for collaborative undertakings which would involve local and foreign entities, the TETDP is presently being supervised by a technical consultant, Dr. Emma Abanes Pujalte (MNSA, Ph.D.), President and C.E.O. of the IRRREN (International Resource Recovery and Recycling Network) Foundation, Inc and an independent consultant and the founder of Elementerre , Christof Burgbacher, specialized in advising companies, organizations and destinations on sustainability.
The TETDP aims to bolster the local economy as a whole in parallel with the principle of preserving and sustaining natural and cultural resources for the present and future generations.
The TETDP aims to promote rural tourism in the remote areas of the Taounate region particularly in the rural communes of Ourtzagh and Tafrant.
The TETDP aims to preserve the environment and prevent degradation, in total compliance with the guidelines of the 2020 Moroccan vision for tourism and the 2011 Moroccan constitution.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THIS PLAN ARE:
- To minimize negative environmental and social impacts – through putting a clear sustainable vision involving participation of local stakeholders including local authority, non government organizations and the civil society
- Provides economic benefits for local people and to enhance communities – through improvements in the working conditions the well-being of host and access to the sector
- To involve responsible action on the part of visiting tourists and that of the tourism industry
- To contribute to the conservation of biodiversity
- To provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists – through offering a variety of outdoor activities, such as: yoga, biking, trekking, hiking, donkey riding, and joining local people in some of their day to day activities in order to learn many cultural and social things from them
- To mobilize local and international volunteers in assisting proponent organization in its initialization efforts at the Taounate Eco- Tourism Development Project (TETDP)
- To provide Trainers Training Courses for both local people and interested visitors – through organizing workshops and demonstration lessons on Bio-Dynamic Farming,
Permaculture, Distillation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Pottery-Making, and on
Traditional Cooking, among others.
- Taounate Ecotourism Discoveries will not only promote eco-friendly activities. It will also offer various cultural and natural-based activities, all of which would have great impacts not only on the quality of life of the people in the host community but also on the surrounding environment.