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Morocco National Tourist Office’s Executive Director Siham Fettouhi gives Recommend the 411:

1. An exclusive and cultural experience. Says Fettouhi, “I’m talking about a country with 12 centuries of existence.” She notes that six dynasties have ruled Morocco, “so you can imagine all how these dynasties shaped the country, its culture, its architecture. If  [clients] you’ve sent your clients to Italy, to the UK, to Spain, to France, but they’re still looking for that cultural, beautiful destination, Morocco is your next destination.”

2. Food is a mix of Mediterranean, African, Jewish, Arab. “It’s so flavorful,” says Fettouhi. “The culture of the food, the hospitality is a major component of [our] tourism.”

3. Beyond the desert. No, Morocco is not all desert and camels, says Fettouhi. There are 2,100 miles of seaside, and “you can imagine the nature behind that,” she says. Take, for example, the seaside resort of Tamouda Bay, which expands along nine miles of fine sandy bay. There’s also Dakhla—located in the very southern region of Morocco, it’s where the desert meets the ocean, and it’s “heaven for kitesurfers,” says Fettouhi. It’s considered one of the country’s most beautiful shorelines.

4. Must-see destinations. Fettouhi points to well-known Marrakesh and Casablanca as well as Fez and Tangier, the latter of which has inspired countless writers and artists, but she also notes other places within the country hold tremendous beauty. She gives a nod to Chefchaouen, with its blue-rinsed houses and charming Medina, as well as Ouarzazate, ideal for travelers who are eager for adventure and trekking with many trails that lead to the edge of the desert.

5. Morocco offers a really good value. One U.S. dollar equals 10 Morocco Dirhams, which means, says Fettouhi, “the destination is a really good buy for your money. For $20, you will have the best meal you can think of.”

6. The country is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the 1,000-year-old Marrakech Medina and Spice Market. The entire city of Rabat, too, is recognized by UNESCO, distinguished by its various historical sites, including the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the Necropolis of Chellah, the Hassan Mosque and the Mohammed V Mausoleum.

7. Unique accommodations. Although Morocco is home to top international hotel groups—think Fairmont, Conrad, Marriott, Barcelo, Mandarin-Oriental—for clients who want to “live like a local,” there are a range of unique accommodations, from a riad, a traditional Moroccan house known for its enclosed garden and courtyard, to glamping in the desert.

8. Typically walled, the traditional Medina offers narrow streets, artisan shops, fountains, mosques. In Fez, Tetouan, Essaouira and Marrakech, these car-free historic towns are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

9. English is widely spoken throughout Morocco. By the way, no visa is required for any visit up to 90 days.

10. Easy connectivity. There are direct flights to Casablanca from North America, including from NYC, Washington, DC and Miami. Additionally, in October of this year, United Airlines will become the only airline connecting the U.S. and Marrakesh, with new service from New York/Newark. The flight will be offered three times weekly on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, equipped with 46 United Polaris business class and 22 United Premium Plus seats to provide options for an elevated travel experience.

Who Should Visit Morocco

It could be a couple’s trip, it could be a family, or something that we are very, very good at, a multi-generational group,” says Fettouhi. “I can imagine a full family going to Marrakech. You have the parents enjoying some golf courses, the grandparents going to retreats in the Atlas Mountains, and the young kids going to, I don’t know, a party in Marrakech. Then they can gather all together in the Agafay Desert.”

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