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Well, I visited marrakech and let me say, there is something definately wrong. Now, fine, I'm use to having to 'bribe' or 'grease' my way through a country, but I have to say it was pretty extreme. Not only were the police and customs people (which you would expect it from, especially the latter since I flew via private jet), but regular people were looking for their cut. I took 2 small tours, the first one through the city, he was more concerned about getting us to buy stuff from the places he took us to, so he could get a kickback on the sale. On a 3 hour tour, and you spend 1 hour in a rug store being shown the 'art' before 8 salespeople eagerly await your every move, it was very faustrating. Next tour, in the mountains, the place in a grassy section under a tree I ate lunch under, 4 seperate people cameby claiming it was theres and wanted money. All I can say is that there are extremes, and my visit to marrakech was very extreme. Would I recommend others to visit, its a clear NO especially when there are other options like Eygpt are available. The reason why I posted this in the economy section, well, tourism's effect on a economy can be huge, will Morocco every be able to have a significant share of the region's tourist dollars, in my opinion, if the mentality of the locals don't change, then I would bet against it.
 

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Well I am sorry you had such a negative experience in Morocco. Corruption is definitely a problem we need to tackle. There are also people in the streets on the lookout for tourists they can make a few Dirhams from. That's why it's advised to avoid being alone and looking too fancy especially if you look foreign. Tourists also shouldn't go with the first person they meet who tells them he's a guide. And put your foot down, if you disagree with a stop on your tour or aren't interested in a merchandise say it and leave the shop!

Morocco is definitely different and isn't for everyone. Some people find it intolerable and some others enjoy the adventure. Thanks for visiting anyways and hopefully you will have a better experience elsewhere!
 

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Well I hate to agree with Roch5220 but to be perfectly honest... I have to agree with him... Morocco is a country blessed with a lot of beauty but the 'short term profit mentality' of our fellow moroccans can make a visit to morocco a nightmare for foreigners...

I have many friends who where very much enthousiastic about visiting morocco but have been dissapointed... To make the Vision 2010 project a succes the country not only has to invest in infrastructure and real estate but also in education of the average moroccan on the street... Inshallah this will happen...
 

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You guys are talking about the matter like it's a governement agenda to send people in the street to harass tourists...Those people are trying to somehow make a living and couldn't care less about the 2010 vision...Unfortunately, until poverty is lessened in Morocco, the governement can't do much.
 

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You guys are talking about the matter like it's a governement agenda to send people in the street to harass tourists...Those people are trying to somehow make a living and couldn't care less about the 2010 vision...Unfortunately, until poverty is lessened in Morocco, the governement can't do much.
I agree :) add to that education as hischko said.
 

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Well I hate to agree with Roch5220 but to be perfectly honest... I have to agree with him... Morocco is a country blessed with a lot of beauty but the 'short term profit mentality' of our fellow moroccans can make a visit to morocco a nightmare for foreigners...

To make the Vision 2010 project a succes the country not only has to invest in infrastructure and real estate but also in education of the average moroccan on the street... QUOTE]

I think there's a general lack of civism (which isn't correlated to income) which is detrimental to the country's development in general.

Btw, Roch5220, just like you, I think my dog rules. :lol:
 

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The lack of "civism" comes from the lack of law enforcement which itself comes from corruption. If cops were to arrest those who harass pedestrians the phenomenon would magically disappear.

And by the way both of you, cats rule and dogs drool.
 

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One question that still lingers in my head, are belly dancers suppose to have bellys? The ones I saw in Morocco had none, in fact, they were very tight and tone. The ones in NYC have bellies that get shaken.
 

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You guys are talking about the matter like it's a governement agenda to send people in the street to harass tourists...Those people are trying to somehow make a living and couldn't care less about the 2010 vision...Unfortunately, until poverty is lessened in Morocco, the governement can't do much.
Well I have to dissagree with you Moroccan Chicka. The government cannot afford to wait until the poverty is lessened. The education and 'change of mentality' needs to start NOW. I am not talking about the poor people on the street who are trying to cope with everydays harse reality... I am talking about people with regular jobs in the hospitality sector and in public service in general...

It starts with the Air Hostesses of our Royal Air Maroc... they seem to be more occupied with their nails and hairdo then with serving the customers.. it continues with the customs at the airport who prefer to chat with their friends about last night.. rather then to welcome and help the visitors of Morocco... the saga continues with the cab driver who really thinks that an increase of 1000% for tourist is quite acceptable.... shall I continue...?? Ok then... the receptionist at the hotel prefers to ask for your girlfriends phone number instead of asking you what kind of room you want....and this 'mental harassment' keeps on going..until you leave the country... it looks as if they are determined to make this your last visit to Morocco!!

It's this kind of 'lack of class' which can make a visit to Morocco an unpleasant experience.. Yes, poverty has a role in it but it is too easy to blame it on poverty allone... There are many poor countries but with a more laid back and chill attitude...

We can have the fanciest hotels and resorts in the world, but if we not 'really' make our visitors feel welcome, Morocco will never succeed as a hotspot for tourists...

For all the non Moroccans in this forum.. please do not feel discouraged. I am exaggerating terribly!! Morocco is a beautiful country with lovely people and if you are 'street wise' enough you will even enjoy the above mentioned experiences....

regards,

Hischko
 

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One question that still lingers in my head, are belly dancers suppose to have bellys? The ones I saw in Morocco had none, in fact, they were very tight and tone. The ones in NYC have bellies that get shaken.
:lol: Well, neither, belly dancing is for everyone...but it definitely helps if the dancer has sensual curves, I don't know about the belly though...
 

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Well, I visited marrakech and let me say, there is something definately wrong. Now, fine, I'm use to having to 'bribe' or 'grease' my way through a country, but I have to say it was pretty extreme. Not only were the police and customs people (which you would expect it from, especially the latter since I flew via private jet), but regular people were looking for their cut. I took 2 small tours, the first one through the city, he was more concerned about getting us to buy stuff from the places he took us to, so he could get a kickback on the sale. On a 3 hour tour, and you spend 1 hour in a rug store being shown the 'art' before 8 salespeople eagerly await your every move, it was very faustrating. Next tour, in the mountains, the place in a grassy section under a tree I ate lunch under, 4 seperate people cameby claiming it was theres and wanted money. All I can say is that there are extremes, and my visit to marrakech was very extreme. Would I recommend others to visit, its a clear NO especially when there are other options like Eygpt are available. The reason why I posted this in the economy section, well, tourism's effect on a economy can be huge, will Morocco every be able to have a significant share of the region's tourist dollars, in my opinion, if the mentality of the locals don't change, then I would bet against it.
i would agree that corruption and lack of civism is widespread in morocco, and a lot of effort should be done in this field, but i have to say also that tourist harrasement is not something specific to our country, because i visited other countries like turkey and i ve been harrased and also the guide was making us go to places to buy stuff .
what i want to say, that this is a genral problem for many touristic destinations. in mexico i have been harrased to enter a porn and strip club, and i was going to loose my camera while i asked someone to take me in picture , still mexico is agreat touristic place and tourist keep going there.
and also i think tourists should do effort by working with profesionals, because there are people who try to make good deals by going to not profesionals, and then say i was rip off.
hopefuly many profesional companies are working with morocco, and their tourists are very satisfied and come back to morocco many times.
hope nexxt time you ll have a better experience
 

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The lack of "civism" comes from the lack of law enforcement which itself comes from corruption. If cops were to arrest those who harass pedestrians the phenomenon would magically disappear.

And by the way both of you, cats rule and dogs drool.
But that is in contradiction with your previous mail inwhich you say that it all bowls down to poverty and that the government cannot do anything until poverty is gone! So active law enforcement and battling corruption can help the situation. Both are governmental tasks I would say!!!
 

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The lack of "civism" comes from the lack of law enforcement which itself comes from corruption. If cops were to arrest those who harass pedestrians the phenomenon would magically disappear.
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Or selective law enforcement which is due to corruption.
As for pedestrian harrassment, I think you have to attack the root causes, simply arresting the perpetrators isn't a solution, IMO. I personally suffer from 2 types of harassment- sexual harassment and povery induced harassment.
But going back to my comment about the lack of civism. When I said it's not correlated to income (or education for that matter), I meant it's a general problem. There are some who lack civism because they can buy their way out of a problem and those who lack civism simply-to put it bluntly- because they don't give a ****.
 

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You guys are talking about the matter like it's a governement agenda to send people in the street to harass tourists...Those people are trying to somehow make a living and couldn't care less about the 2010 vision...Unfortunately, until poverty is lessened in Morocco, the governement can't do much.
poverty is not the problem that leads people to ask money in the streets but lack of education and civism (it hapened to me many times that young guys come to me to ask for money to take the bus after a soccer game to go home and they seemed not that poor) and also a lack of interest by the authorities. some of the people who are in the streets have a lot of money, but they liked the way they live, because it's easy money. if there was law enforcement, things will be better.
 

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There are some who lack civism because they can buy their way out of a problem and those who lack civism simply-to put it bluntly- because they don't give a ****.
purple dreaaaaaaaaams, did you just say the f word:eek:hno: ? :tongue2:

seriously there will always be people out there who are just plain rude and there is nothing we can do about it. In the meantime fighting corruption and poverty is the only way to go.
 

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purple dreaaaaaaaaams, did you just say the f word:eek:hno: ? :tongue2:

seriously there will always be people out there who are just plain rude and there is nothing we can do about it. In the meantime fighting corruption and poverty is the only way to go.
In real life I don't think I've ever used that word- I don't curse, not even shit or merde or whatever. :lol: I have a very cool temper but in this case I thought it was the word that best conveyed my thoughts.

About law enforcement, many times I've seen a policeman try to stop a car that burned a red light or that was speeding and the driver just speeds ahead. What's the policeman supposed to do?

Like I said, I don't think toughening up law enforcement is the solution, but in order to improve law enforcement I think 2 things are necessary- corruption should be tackled and those in law enforcement should be given the means to do their job. If someone isn't paid adequately, their incentive to do their job decreases. Another field that suffers from this is education. Police officers aren't paid adequate salaries and their working conditions leave a lot to be desired.
As an aside this weekend I got a glimpse of the Agdal police station. It looked like something straight out of a movie. It's run down, dreary, drab, poorly lit, and there are people yelling and screaming from all sides. I truly felt sorry for those who have to work there. After I explained my problem to a guy sitting in front of an old typewriter, his initial comment was "wa shdek el shi fdol?" [I hope what I just wrote is understandable because like I previously mentioned I never write (nor read darija)]. And when I gave him my ID card his whole attitude changed.
 

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morocco is so beautiful and the people for the most part are nice
sure they are a few rotten evil people in morocco but every nation has them as well
yes more jobs, beter infrastructure, less corruption and peace with algeria would make morocco was one the best nations on earth
 

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I recently traveled 15 days all over Morocco and had both really positive and negative experiences.

First of all let me say that I consider myself a quite experienced traveler (been to 39 countries so far) and Morocco is definitely not one of the easiest countries to travel in. Apart from the fact that almost everybody only speaks Arabic and French and there is a huge lack of public transportation in the big cities, the main problem is indeed the amount of harassment (often in pretty aggressive forms) that you will face as a tourist. Many of you here probably won't understand this, because as native Moroccans you probably face these problems a lot less, but let me tell you...if you are recognizable as a western tourist it can be pretty bad.

In some cities (Marrakech and Fes are the worst) people will approach you every 20 seconds and will offer you their services (like tours) or products. I found out that declining their offers politely in Arabic (la shukran) usually worked best and they didn't bother you anymore, if somebody was more persistent I simply ignored them and after a while they lost interest and went away. The only place where this didn't work was Casablanca where people often turned incredible rude and insulted you with things like "Stupid little motherfucker" and "Your family shall burn in hell", as well as some rude stuff in French and Arabic I fortunately didn't understand. Two guys even played llamas and spit at me!

About poverty and beggars: I did a huge part of my trip with a rental car and traveled all over the High and Middle Atlas the Dades and Souss Valley,… and sometimes it was really frightening. When I got out of my car near some villages sometimes up to 20! kids started running at me, surrounded me and begged for money. Twice they even ripped open my door and stole food from inside the car! There isn’t a single viewpoint along all the scenic routes (like the Dades Gorge or the Tizi ‘n’ Test pass) where there aren’t any beggars. They knock on your windows, pull on your clothes, block you while you want to walk past them and so on.

Also Morocco was a lot less safe than I had originally thought. I actually found that out the very hard way, when I became the victim of an armed robbery for the first time in my life. It happened at the second evening of my vacation in Morocco in Casablanca. It was around 8.45 in the evening and I wanted to take some night photos of the Hassan II Mosque. Due to the fact that the taxis were on a strike for several days, I had no alternative but to walk there. So I walked along the Boulevard des Almohades which is a well-lit and busy street. After several minutes three guys suddenly jumped at me. Two of them fixed my arms on my back, one pulled out a huge butchers knife and put it on my chest. Then they searched through my pockets, discovered my good 500 Euro camera which I was wearing under my jacket, ripped it away and ran off. Of course, I went to the nearest police station, where I had to deal with the most incompetent police officers I ever met. They cared more about all the stamps and visas in my passport or wanted to know totally useless stuff like the names of my father and mother instead of caring about the robbery.
Fortunately, I had at least saved all of my photos on my notebook one hour before the robbery and had a back-up camera with me. Still, I lost a camera worth 500 Euro and was pretty scared for the rest of my vacation once it got dark.
Another tourists at the hotel where I was staying also got robbed at knifepoint the next night and lost his passport, credit cards and cell phone.

But there are also many positive things about Morocco. The landscapes are amazing, you have some great cities and historic sights and most people were really helpful if you asked them something.

Overall I think Morocco is a fascinating place to visit for the experienced traveler and I will certainly be back someday, but its definitely not a destination for the average tourists. And unless some of the things mentioned above change, it also won’t be one in the coming decades.
 
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