Rocking the Kasbah

Wellness tourism experts agree that Morocco is earning a prominent position on the spa map.

Image courtesy of Virgin Resorts Kasbah TamadotImage courtesy of Virgin Resorts Kasbah Tamadot

Image courtesy of Virgin Resorts Kasbah Tamadot

With more 32 million people, no country in Africa can boast the unique diversity of Morocco. Located in the northwest corner of Africa, this culturally rich nation once served as a gateway for European explorers. Indeed, the full Arabic name for Morocco is translated as “kingdom of the west” and, to this day, the influences of the French, Spanish, Berbers and Jewish cultures can be felt here.

Morocco’s Atlas Mountain range, rising to more than 13,000 feet, forms the country’s interior spine, with lowlands to the east giving way to the Atlantic Ocean. Slightly larger than California, the country also offers a shoreline on the Mediterranean, just inside the Strait of Gibraltar, and many Moroccan city names are derived from the Spanish and Portuguese. The country has two official languages, Arabic and Berber; however, French is still widely used in the government and media, and is taught in the schools.

The city of Marrakech, Morocco, was chosen as the site for this month’s 2014 Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) (see page 108), according to GSWS CEO Susie Ellis, based on its history as “a well-being destination with an age-old tradition of beauty, relaxation and body care.” Indeed, the SRI International 2013 Global Wellness Tourism Economy report projected that, based on an impressive wellness tourism growth rate, Morocco would attain top-10 ranking as a wellness destination by 2017.

“By developing the wellness and spa niche, we are targeting Morocco as an international destination for [this purpose], via the promotion of new wellness and relaxation concepts based on an ecological approach that takes advantage of Moroccan’s local riches,” notes Imad Barrakad, chairman of the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development. “Holding the 2014 GSWS in Marrakech is an opportunity for Morocco to introduce its potential for spa and wellness.”

Read the full article in the DAYSPA September Digital Edition.

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