Moroccan History and the Nation’s Rise As an International Tourist Destination


A country in the continent of Africa, it is fair to say that Morocco is a country that is not only incredibly beautiful to behold, but a country that is full of history that dates back as far as the seventh century (and even further). The current state of Morocco is a state that has been brought to fruition largely on the tail of a rise in globally inclusive awareness of travel destinations around the globe, as well as an increasingly heightened awareness of everything that makes this country not only beautiful but also undeniably strong. From the mountains that frame the deserts, to ancient ruins, and every possible Moroccan attribute in between and beyond, Morocco is a nation that has, over time, become a global tourist sensation. Morocco vacations are not uncommon today. While today, Morocco is sprawling with tourists every other day (and especially during the high season), it is important to understand not only the Morocco of today, but the Morocco of the past, and all the stages in history that have played a part in shaping Morocco into the place that it is today.

Morocco of the Past

The history of Morocco is so rich that it is spread all the way back to the seventh century (and even further). In the seventh and eighth centuries AD, Morocco found itself the victim of an Arabian invasion, which ultimately resulted in the first major Muslim dynasty. For the next few centuries, dynasties and religious shifts moved in and out of active effect. One of the most notable movements of the period was the Almoravid movement – a phase in Morocco’s history that controlled not only Morocco, but parts of Algeria and Spain too. In 1860, Spain declared war on Morocco over the Ceuta enclave, an event in history that won Spain yet another enclave and a larger Ceuta. Fourteen years later, Spain motioned into effect a protectorate along the coast of Morocco, and Spain and France began a twenty-year-long battle over zones of influence throughout the nation. Finally, in 1912, Morocco became a French protectorate under the Treaty of Fez. During this time, Spain continued to master its coastal influence for some time.

Then, in 1956, the end of the French protectorate came to be after a period of significant unrest. During this time, Spain was allowed to keep its two coastal enclaves for the time being, and Sultan Mohammed became king in 1957. When the king died four years later, King Hassan II rose to take his place, and two years later the first general elections took place. These elections resulted in vast social unrest, to the point that the king was forced to declare a state of emergency, effectively suspending parliament in the process. After a tumultuous few decades, a UN-monitored ceasefire took place in Western Sahara. The year was 1991, and while the monitored nature of the ceasefire created a balance of sorts, the territory’s status remained uncertain. In 1998, Morocco’s first opposition-led government came into effect, and the year after, King Hassan II’s son, Mohammed VI, took to the throne after his father.

His rule was controversial, to say the least, however there were many positive shifts under his leadership. Then, in 2003, Casablanca jailed three Saudi members of alQaeda for ten years, as it came to light they were plotting to attack US and British warships in the Straits of Gibraltar. That same year, suicide bombers attacked several important sites in the area, killing more than five-hundred individuals in the process. Seeing the need for drastic change, in 2004 a free trade agreement with the USA marked one of the first positive movements towards a more peaceful international place for Morocco. Since then, there have been many movements for Morocco’s militant presence and position, and unfortunately to this day the underlying issue persists. However, there is hope that this is a place that is on the way to a safer future – the key, as always, lies in consistent positive shifts, even if they are challenging.

Morocco As a Leading Tourist Destination Today

Even with the struggles that Morocco has and still is facing, this is a place that has become a global tourist destination favourite. Today, Morocco is one of the top international tourist destinations around the globe, famed for its vibrant colours, delicious food, rich history, and tourist attractions like the ‘village of divine light’. And while tourists typically exercise a moderate to high degree of caution while travelling throughout Morocco, for the most part this is a tourist destination that offers it all and that takes strong care of its tourists. The tourist attention has caused the economy to strengthen somewhat, which has effectively turned Morocco into one of the most beloved countries in Africa and around the globe (for the most part, that is). Of course, Morocco still faces its challenges (doesn’t every country and region?), however it is also a country of immense vibrancy and beauty – all you have to do is take a chance on this wondrous destination and you can experience the magic yourself.

Looking Ahead to the Future

It goes without saying that Morocco is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the globe today. While there is no denying that this is a nation that has well and truly earned its global popularity, it is also important to pay attention to the history that has shaped and reshaped this beautiful and ancient nation into the place that it is today. As is always the case, the history of a country plays an important role in the evolution that brings that country to its current state of being. The history of Morocco is rich and spell-binding, to say the least (and not always in the best and brightest of ways), but it is a history that is nonetheless necessary to research if one wants to gain a genuinely in-depth grasp of Morocco and everything that has gone into turning it into the country that it is today. And at the end of it all, a trip to see it all with one’s own eyes is the perfect way to visit Morocco and to understand its place as a leading tourist destination today, as well as its past.


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