People have always moved between places and countries for objective reasons such as trade, military campaigns, religious trips, studies, and so on… Leisure and tourism movements and trips, in their modern sense, have only started to evolve and develop at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Since that date, tourist trips and movements have known sustained prosperity and growth, both locally and internationally, especially since the mid-twentieth century. Ever since, tourism has not stopped growing, developing services, diversifying destinations, and providing necessary high-level reception facilities.
This enormous development in the tourism sector, and the active roles it has been playing in the economy, culture, and relations between countries, encouraged officials around the world to pay attention to what their countries have in terms of cultural and heritage wealth; historical, archaeological, and ethnographic treasures and monuments; and geographical areas and landscapes that attract tourists.
These countries have also started to take care of the facilities accompanying the tourism sector, by developing various means of transportation of tourists, by land, sea, and air; improving the road infrastructure, building hotels and accommodation centers, and training the necessary and qualified managers in the field. All that led to an advanced boom in the economies of these countries.
Morocco was not left out of the development of tourism in the world; quite the opposite actually, as it was aware, at an early stage, of the importance of this sector and the changes it can bring on many levels. Therefore, the country made of tourism a priority that requires attention and development, especially that Morocco has a huge tourist potential that makes it a high-level attractive country. Thereby, Morocco has turned over the years into a favorite destination for many tourists from different countries of the world.
However, with the development and expansion of this sector in Morocco, different branches and types of tourism emerged, such as: cultural tourism, sports tourism, religious tourism, business and seminars tourism, natural and historical tourism…
This may seem natural to some observers, but tourism has revealed significant paradoxes and contradictions in underdeveloped countries. On the one hand, there is a category of rich tourists arriving to poor countries, and spending freely; and on the other hand, there is a poor class of the local population, in need of money and work. The rule of supply and demand imposed itself in this field. Therefore, some community classes emerged offering sex services, while there were classes of tourists seeking those services; and that’s what is now called “sex tourism”. This type of tourism has developed especially with the large influx of tourists from the Arab Gulf countries. Many scholars and observers believe that this phenomenon has affected tourism significantly, as well as its cultural, recreational, and economic dimensions. According to them, sex tourism has tarnished the sector, affected its ethics and the credibility of its workers, and caused much damage to society.
In this sense, many actors interested in the development of the tourism sector, as well as tourism policy planners in the country, believe that it is possible to override the damages caused by sex tourism, and affecting society, its reputation, and the dignity of its people, by establishing tourism policies capable of raising the economic level. That can be achieved by resorting to the development of Morocco’s historical monuments and rare natural and environmental diversity, and the diversification of its non-tourist economic sources to raise the material and cultural level of the population, so that a class thereof will not have to beg and sell their bodies to tourists or anyone else.
Tourism was never linked to sex or prostitution, but it was, and will remain, a cultural and historical movement that has always contributed to the economic growth, the diversification of tourism products, and the development of interest towards history, geography, and natural diversity of the countries that have focused on this sector.
Tourism will always remain an aspect that will define many countries across the world, including Morocco, this tourist country par excellence; and a factor of convergence of cultures and openness to many civilizations.
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