After a period of drastic travel restrictions imposed by the spread of coronavirus, the craze for a “better life” is to take and feel among Moroccans, eager to explore new original destinations and rich in their heritage. This is the case with Taghazout, a fishing village located on the Atlantic coast of the Kingdom, a few kilometers from Agadir and known for its sapphire-colored beaches. The place is appreciated not only by professionals and amateurs of surfing, but also by enthusiasts of cultural tourism for its possibilities, which still need to be discovered and above all must be appreciated.
Overlooked by the mountains of Ait Bihi, whose tranquility is only broken by the chirping of birds and from time to time donkeys, Taghazout is separated from the rural municipality of Aourir by a majestic stream spanning Oued Tamraght. bridge.
This small town is home to the Bab Taghazout Cultural Center, a new cultural entity in a rural setting with sober architecture, open to visitors from Taghazout, but also from Agadir and its surroundings.
A large door that reflects the raw beauty and architectural singularity of the Souss region, adorns Bab Taghazout, which is full of sculptures, paintings, pottery, pottery, rugs and Amazigh decorations in addition to the famous beauty products extracted from argan oil.
To visit Bab Taghazout is to immerse yourself in this Berber lifestyle, which is a key component in the culture of Morocco’s rich ancestral ancestors, and which appeals to both locals and foreigners. 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 tourist activity and the safeguarding of the local heritage.
This is the case with Martine Mimmas, a Parisian who decided to take the plunge and open two stores in the Bab Taghazout Center. The first specializes in making jewelry from shells and natural pearls, collected from the beaches of the region, including Taghazout and Imourane, while the second store offers a wide range of teas for sale to taste on site. “When I settled in Morocco for four years, my husband and I opened our first craft store here in December 2021,” Mimmas said in a statement to MAP.
“This project, which aims to promote the know – how of the Souss region, has been developed in collaboration with local artisans as well as with a women’s cooperative for the production of several products such as small bags, beach bags and shoes,” she explains.
Referring to the change in the tourist profile that Taghazout is receiving, this French pensioner believes that with Covid, tourist habits have changed, inviting a rediscovery of Morocco’s history and natural and cultural richness.
“With the onset of the pandemic, travelers’ habits have changed to become more interested in smart products inspired by Moroccan knowledge.”
For Ms. Mimas, Taghazout has been able to retain all its charm and unique character and thus stand out from competing destinations competing in assets and offers to attract wealthy customers.
In the same vein, Cihad Macar, a Turkish student living in Dublin, says the authenticity of Taghazout and its reputation as a global destination for surfing and yoga led him to choose Morocco for his first post-Covid.
“I was fascinated by the beauty of the surrounding nature and especially by the culinary culture of the Souss region,” he confides to MAP. Far from mass tourism, Taghazout is the showcase for a new tourism product that is more sustainable and more suited to current environmental, economic and geopolitical challenges.
If the cultural tourism in Taghazout is gradually gaining momentum, other destinations are waiting to be discovered and promoted nationally and internationally. There is a need to diversify artistic events, museums and other cultural infrastructures in order to celebrate and enhance the local heritage of each of Morocco’s regions, in order to put culture at the service of the long-awaited tourist revival.
KORT / Sofia El Aouni