For three weeks I’ve been travelling through Morocco, drinking amazing mint tea and filling my belly with delicious food. And never have I felt threatened or unsafe, despite Morocco being a Muslim country.

For those that equate Islam with death and violence, this may come as a surprise. But to anyone that’s visited Morocco, you all know how true it is when I say that Morocco is totally safe to travel to.

Starting off in sensory-overload Marrakesh, I’ve travelled to Tafraout in the south, Agadir on the coast, and spent a week learning how to surf in Taghazout – Morocco’s surf capital. During this time I’ve experienced big city Morocco, small town Morocco, and coastal Morocco, and it’s been totally drama-free the whole time.

Sure, the guys that try to sell you stuff or get you into their shop can be annoying, especially in Marrakesh. But it’s never – ever – gotten hostile, let alone violent. In fact, Moroccans are some of the nicest and hospitable people I’ve ever met, and a genuine kindness underlies even the most insistent street vendor.

The recent terrorist attacks in Europe have definitely made a dent on inbound tourism to Morocco, and many Europeans are choosing to stay at home or travel elsewhere during their Christmas and New Year break.

After all, Morocco is a Muslim country, and unfortunately many attacks have been committed in the religion’s name in recent years. Tourist numbers in Tunisia and Egypt, for example, have taken a nose dive in recent times, due to a combination of political change and terrorism.

And now, unfortunately, Morocco is also bearing the brunt of these recent attacks. Visiting Morocco during the Christmas and New Years break has been one of the busiest times for inbound tourism in Morocco for decades. But this year it’s been very, very quiet, and many businesses in the Moroccan tourist sector have noticed the sharp drop in foreign visitors since the attacks in Europe.

m2

Speaking to the proprietor of my guesthouse in Marrakesh, I was told that bookings were strangely low for that time of year. “In previous years, we have always been booked out. And not just here, but most places in Marrakesh,” he told me over breakfast one fine sunny morning. And his observation has been one echoed by the many other Moroccan hoteliers and tour companies I’ve met.

This is very unfortunate, because Morocco is a very safe destination for Western visitors. To be sure, Morocco has suffered a small number of terrorist attacks in the last 15 years, such as the 2003 Casablanca bombings which killed 33, and the Argana Cafe attack in Marrakesh that killed 17 in 2011.

f

Chefchaouen / Source: urbanpeek.com

But then France and Germany have also been hit with terrorism in recent years, and we’d never question whether France or Germany were safe enough to travel to. Even London has experienced more terrorist attacks than Morocco!

Let me put it to you like this: Morocco is totally safe, and actually depends on tourism as one of its major industries. So don’t be dissuaded from visiting by the media hype, and tag on a trip to Morocco the next time you’re in Europe.

Have you been to Morocco? Tell us about your experiences travelling through this North African country in the comments below…