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Friday, 4 April 2014 12:00 AM

Morocco Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 – Sawadi

Now in its 5th year, the annual MNTO (Moroccan National Tourism Office) Responsible Tourism Awards were presented in Agadir on 24th February.

Naturally Morocco was awarded the Trophy for Responsible Tourism (International Category, Economic and Social Development theme) in 2009 for our work in fundraising and supporting community projects in High Atlas villages near Taroudant. 

This year, the Moroccan Tourist Board awarded the 2014 trophy for the Environment to Sawadi for its long term work in the Skoura oasis and the ecological palm grove.

The Morocco Responsible Tourism Awards – What Are They?

The Awards (or to give them their proper title - Les Trophées Maroc du Tourisme Responsable) have been created by the Ministry of Tourism and the Moroccan National Office of Tourism (ONMT) to promote sustainable development within the tourism industry in Morocco, for the long term benefit of Morocco – specifically for its people, culture, traditions and nature.

Their goal is to promote a responsible approach to activities within the tourism sector by all stakeholders in the industry in Morocco. Those stakeholders include tour operators, travel agents, accommodations, travel guides, transport providers and travel associations.

Sawadi – A Worthy Winner

Sawadi is a an accommodation set deep in the Skoura oasis, within sight of the High Atlas mountains to its north. Its hamlet of mini-kasbahs have been built in a traditional style and building materials (cool in summer, warm in winter) in an organically managed farm containing orchards and farm animals – an excellent place to relax and for children to play.

Sawadi has always been highly respectful of environmental concerns, including having a (large) non-chlorinated pool, and ensuring water conservation through waste water treatment. It also offers guests a number of other services, including local trips and informal cookery lessons, to ensure that their stay is truly memorable.

Unfortunately the ONMT has not issued the citations for the awards in 2014 giving the exact reasons for those issued this year.

The Award categories

The trophies are awarded in National or International categories under one of the following themes:

'Values, Traditions and Culture' - for tourism projects that help preserve and promote the cultural identity of the territory and its inhabitants and to promote the development of local heritage, regional or national .

'Economic and Social Development’ - for actions and / or tourism projects that aim to involve local people in the development and management of projects and contribute to the dynamics of economic and social development at the local level.

'Environment'  - for actions and / or tourism projects that contribute to the preservation and enhancement of biodiversity and natural resources, improving energy efficiency in the sector, and the minimization of the impact on the environment.