When you travel to Morocco as a visitor you will be impressed by a number of things. Apart from the obvious which includes the beauty, the history and the culture, you will be impressed by Morocco’s efforts to be energy efficient. The country and its people are aware of their natural resources, and have made a huge effort to be energy efficient and to use renewable energy sources.
As you travel through the country, you may well see huge solar energy projects that have been planned for years and are now operational. It’s impressive to see, as a visitor, that many hotels and lodges use solar. And you will be impressed to see some of Africa’s largest wind farms ever. The country is progressive (today there is a global climate change protest and the turn out in Morocco has been excellent). The government and people of Morocco are aware that they need to be part of the climate change solution.
So how does this affect tourism? What we have noticed is that tourists these days are aware. They are not just tourists, they are travellers, and they like to be immersed in a country, rather than just passing through. No travellers want to be a part of waste. Almost everyone says ‘no thank you’ to plastic bags as they travel, carry their own water bottles, and remember to switch off the lights. And because travellers are aware of their environment, they expect their hotels to be aware too.
Hotels and lodges in Morocco, the good ones, have put in policies to save water, to use reliable and renewable energy sources, to waste as little as possible and to be aware of plastic. You will find that luxury lodges often give clients a water bottle that they can use for the duration of their stay, rather than dishing out plastic water bottles. Water is always purified and safe to drink. They also use brown paper packaging instead of plastic bags, and shopkeepers at markets are encouraged to use brown paper bags or cotton bags too.
Morocco, the country and its inhabitants as a whole, are proud to be one of the African leaders when it comes to the environment. When you travel through California today, or through South Africa or the United Arab Emirates, you see huge wind farms or solar projects. You will see this in Morocco too. It’s a sight that is exciting and innovative, and gives you hope for the planet as a whole.
As a tourist, you have responsibilities too. The hotels and also the desert camps, will ask you to hang your towels up and only leave them on the floor if they have to be washed. Nobody needs to have towels washed daily, especially when there are water shortages. Linen will only be cleaned every few days, unless a visitor specifies for it to be cleaned daily. Hotels will look after their visitors brilliantly, and ask that you look after their environment at the same time.