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What is meant by the Taounate Eco Tourism Development Project or  the TETDP?

Taounate, with its diverse products, can be developed to become one of the most important tourist destinations in Morocco. Taounate can contribute greatly to the progress and advancement of the northern region into high levels. Taounate 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 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.

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 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:

  1. 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
    To generate greater
  2. 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
  3. To involve responsible action on the part of visiting tourists and that of the tourism industry
  4. To contribute to the conservation of biodiversity
  5. 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
  6. To mobilize local and international volunteers in assisting proponent organization in its initialization efforts at the Taounate Eco- Tourism Development Project (TETDP)
  7. 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.
  8. Taounate Ecotourism Discoveries will not only promote eco-friendly activities. It will also offer various cultural and nature-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.

 

SUGGESTED TOURS IN TAOUNATE will be conducted at the foot of Jebl Sidi Masouad and its surrounding villages, at the Oudka Mountain and Tafrant and Bouadel. These tours would include biking, trekking, cycling, donkey riding, and tours of some surrounding villages.

CULTURE-RELATED TOURISM ACTIVITIES will include visiting local historical landmarks found in the region, learning about local foods through short demonstration lessons on how to prepare them, and visiting pottery makers for demonstration to or for participation by tourists on how to do the craft.

WATER-RELATED ACTIVITIES are to be conducted at the Alwahda dam on which fishing, boat touring, and boat racing are to be offered to tourists.

FARMING RELATED ACTIVITIES are mainly related to any activity done in the process of farming in the mountainous areas of Taounate that brings the tourists to the farm for educational, recreational or retail purposes. Here permaculture methods farming and orange rose water extraction are highly suggested.

ECO-CAMPS FOR YOUTH LEADERS will be organized with activities for young adults and student leaders of various local schools who are interested to learn more about environmental education, and to get more hand-on demonstration lessons or experiences about environmental conservation measures, including ecological waste management.

The main objective of Taounate4Ecotourisme is to foster economic and social growth, in romote areas of Taounate Province through the achievement of development imperatives and promotion of sustainable tourism, while minimizing negative social, cultural and environmental impacts so please dont hesitate to take action for better change in this region.
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