Into Africa
Business Traveler|April 2020
To visit Morocco is still like turning the pages of some illuminated Persian manuscript all embroidered with bright shapes and subtle lines. – Edith Wharton

Morocco has long been the dim light beckoning across the Strait of Gibraltar from continental Europe, drawing writers, poets, painters and dreamers to its bustling aromatic cities and its vast empty spaces.

It is to where Edith Wharton escaped for an adventurous visit at the end of WWI. No guidebooks; just the tomes of Ibn Buttata to lead the way. It is where Paul Bowles lived for most of his adult life to write such haunting works as The Sheltering Sky, initially prompted to visit the country by his friend, Gertrude Stein, who, herself found inspiration in the North African expanse. More recently, Yves St. Laurent adopted Marrakech as a delectable canvas and made his mark on the local cultural fabric.

BEYOND CASABLANCA And then there are the countless films, so numerous that the country has its own film office and list of standby medinas to set into action. The ancient clay city of the Aït Benhaddou near Ouarzazate is easily recognized as the city of Unsullied in Game of Thrones (also scenes from Gladiator were filmed here). Orson Welles shot Othello in Essaouira. Hitchcock filmed the Man Who Knew Too Much in Marrakech. Parts of Lawrence of Arabia were filmed in Morocco. Ironically, Casablanca was not.

But the travelers to Morocco these days are less apt to be poets and writers, and more likely to be young Instagrammers salivating over the ubiquitous cerulean dwellings amid desert palms, ferrous mountain rises and snowcapped peaks in a swirl of hues that mix well with the local drapey fashions donned for striking selfie shots.

Due to Instagram, as well as Morocco’s relatively long lasting stability, its commitment to protecting and buoying tourism, and the North African Kingdom’s interest in bridging business enterprise between Africa and Europe, the country has been seeing some good years. Tourism arrivals counted 13 million in 2019, up 5.2 percent from the previous year and contributing $8.16 billion to the country’s economy.

CONTEMPORARY CARPETS

Expanded airline service, too, has contributed to Morocco’s upward trajectory. Europe remains ever close and affordable with lift from Easyjet and now Ryanair. British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France also offer direct and non-stop flights from key gateways in Europe.

From the US, Morocco is back in play with new and expanded service from Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and the first-ever nonstop flight by American Airlines to the African continent. Royal Air Maroc now offers non-stop service to Casablanca from Miami as well as Boston, New York JFK and Washington Dulles. It runs a codeshare with American Airlines to shuttle passengers beyond Casablanca to other destinations in Africa.

And it recently joined the oneworld alliance, which brings together 13 airlines and enables RAM to access more than a dozen new hubs as well as 1,035 destinations in 164 countries. Currently, RAM operates 100 air routes – 80 to international airports of which half are in Europe, 32 in Africa and five are in the Middle East.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TRAVELERView All

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

BEST FOR Oceanfront stays with terrific dining, swimming pools and an expansive beach.

2 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

The Crane Resort, Barbados

BEST FOR Clifftop views with vigorous ocean breezes, exotic dining and all-suite accommodations

2 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

Williamsburg

Chock full of history, this easy-to-reach destination is a kaleidoscope of old and new experiences for everyone

2 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

TESTING 1-2 -3

For now, COVID-19 tests are likely to be part of your travel experience. Here’s your guide to what to look for and where to find it

7 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

ROI FROM THE ROAD

As business travel resets, maximizing value of each trip is a bigger question than go-or-no-go

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

New World Travel Order

Your voice today can help shape the journeys of the future

3 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

MIXED MESSAGES

Hybrid meetings are likely here to stay, but are already morphing into something more

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

RETURN TO TRAVEL

Travelers and the industry both ask: Are we there yet?

8 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

REMOTE POSSIBILITIES

Digital nomads are being inspired to imagine themselves working from – just about everywhere

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

Points of Interest

As post-pandemic travel restarts, your loyalty may be more valuable than ever

4 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021
RELATED STORIES

CLOSE COMBAT V: INVASION NORMANDY

Twenty years later, this RTS is still just as innovative.

8 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
December 2021

We Are All Indigenous Global Citizens

WAKANYI HOFFMAN is a Global Education Specialist and founder of the African Folktales Project. Here, she speaks with SARA BUBBER about the value of storytelling and passing down wisdom through generations, her Kikuyu culture, and how all of us are indigenous people contributing to the world.

9 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
October 2021

GOOGLE SAYS FLIGHT SEARCH TOOL CAN HELP YOU FLY ‘GREENER'

A basic search for flights will give an estimate of how many kilograms of carbon dioxide the flight will spew from start to finish.

2 mins read
Techlife News
October 09, 2021

SURGING NATURAL GAS PRICES: THREAT TO CONSUMERS THIS WINTER?

Brace for a rude surprise on your winter heating bills.

5 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #518

Google in Court to Appeal EU's 2018 Android Antitrust Case

Google headed to a top European Union court this week to appeal a record EU antitrust penalty imposed for stifling competition through the dominance of its Android operating system.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
October 01, 2021

MASTERCLASS

Pip Hare on best practice crew communication

4 mins read
Yachting World
October 2021

ONE TO CHARGE THEM ALL: EU DEMANDS SINGLE PLUG FOR PHONES

The European Union unveiled plans Thursday to require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices.

1 min read
Techlife News
September 25, 2021

Who Comes Next?

The race to succeed Germany’s Angela Merkel pits caution against boldness

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
August 23, 2021

HOT DATES: 2 SPACECRAFT TO MAKE VENUS FLYBY

Two spacecraft are set to swoop past Venus within hours of each other this week, using the maneuver to do a little bit of bonus science on the way to their main missions at the center of our solar system.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
August 13, 2021

CHER'S SINGING IS ELE-PHANTASTIC!

Special recordings bringing peace to pachyderms

1 min read
Globe
August 23, 2021