After a period of severe travel restrictions imposed by the spread of the Corona virus, the craze for a “better life” is becoming palpable among Moroccans, eager to explore new original destinations rich in their heritage. Such is the case of Taghazout, a fishing village located on the Atlantic coast of the kingdom, a few kilometers from Agadir and famous for its ruby-colored beaches. The place is appreciated not only by professionals and amateurs in surfing but also by cultural tourism enthusiasts for its possibilities that are yet to be discovered and above all to be appreciated.
Taghazout overlooks the mountains of Ait Behi, whose calm is only broken by the chirping of birds, and from time to time, the braying of donkeys, and Taghazout is separated from the rural municipality of Aourir by a majestic watercourse that extends over the Tamraght Valley. bridge.
This small town is home to the Bab Taghazout Cultural Center, a new cultural device in a rural setting with discreet architecture, open to visitors from Taghazout but also from Agadir and its surroundings.
Une grande porte refleétant la beauté brute et la singularité architecturale de la région de Souss orne Bab Taghazout qui regorge de sculptures, de tableaux de peinture, de céramiques, de poteries, de tapis et de décorations Amazigh du en extra de be fameuxt pro Argan oil.
A visit to Bab Taghazout means to immerse yourself in this Berber way of life which is a major component of Morocco’s rich ancestral culture, which attracts locals and foreigners alike. Driven by the desire to live an original and exotic travel experience, they choose this part of the kingdom for their holidays, and thus participate in the revitalization of tourism activity and the preservation of local heritage.
This is the case of Martine Mimes, the Parisian who decided to take the initiative and open two stores in the Bab Taghazout mall. The first specializes in making jewelry from mother-of-pearl and natural pearls, collected from the beaches of the region, including Taghazout and Imuran, while the second shop offers a variety of teas for sale as desired on the site. “We settled in Morocco four years ago, my husband and I opened our first handicraft shop here in December 2021,” Mamas said in a statement to MAP.
“This project aims to enhance the technical knowledge of the Souss region, and it was developed in cooperation with local artisans as well as with the women’s cooperative to manufacture various products such as small bags, beach bags and shoes.” , she explains.
Referring to the change in the tourist profile that Taghazout receives, this French retiree believes that with Covid, tourist habits have changed, calling for a rediscovery of the history, natural and cultural wealth of Morocco.
“With the onset of the pandemic, the traveler’s habits have changed to pay more attention to elegant products inspired by Moroccan know-how.”
For Ms. Mimas, Taghazout has managed to maintain its charm and exclusivity, thus standing out from competing destinations vying in assets and offerings to attract wealthy clients.
In the same spirit, Jihad Makar, a Dublin-based Turkish student, says that Taghazout’s authenticity and reputation as a global surfing and yoga destination prompted him to choose Morocco for the first time after Covid.
“I was captivated by the beauty of the surrounding nature and especially the culinary culture of the Souss region,” he tells MAP. Far from mass tourism, Taghazout is a front for a new tourism product that is more sustainable and better suited to the current environmental, economic and geopolitical challenges.
If cultural tourism in Taghazout is gradually taking off, other destinations are waiting to be discovered and promoted both nationally and internationally. There is a need for a proliferation of art events, museums and other cultural infrastructures, to celebrate and enhance the local heritage of each region of Morocco, in order to put culture at the service of the long-awaited tourism renaissance.
Map / Sofia Al-Awni