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Moulay - Idriss

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ATA Flashback


Photo: Signing of the Rural Tourism Agreement in Morocco


Africa Travel Association 6th Cultural and Ecotourism Symposium in Fes, Morocco a major success

Mr. James MacGregor
(center right), Keynote Speaker

A renowned Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Planner, based in Canada, James MacGregor has been credited with developing the world's first Ecotourism Training Program (for the Banff Center for Management) and the first train-the-trainer program (for ECO Brazil). The 13-week Ecotourism Workshop Series he developed and delivered to the Commonwealth of Caribbean Nations was given the prestigious Green Globe Achievement Award, from the world Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Mr. MacGregor has prepared more than 100 Ecotourism projects in 12 countries including such initiatives as the Royal Bengal Tiger Ecotourism Protection Plan (Bangladesh, the Madagascar National Park Ecotourism Strategy, and the Saskatchewan Ecotourism Development Plan.He has worked with First Nations through out Canada, from the Inuit in Northern Labrador, to the Cree of James Bay to the Haida of Haida Gwai.

Mr. MacGregor is also a tour operator and owner of ECOadventures Expeditions and the Lac Matagami Ecolodge. He recently completed the Sustainable Tourism Action Plan and e-Marketing Strategy for Southern Morocco (for USAID).

Mr. Abelhamid Boumediene, Director, Moroccan National Tourist Office for the Americas, named Chairman


New York, NY : Mira Berman, Executive Director, The Africa Travel Association (ATA), announced that Mr. Abdelhamid Boumediene, Director Moroccan National Tourist Office for the Americas, will serve as Chairman of ATA's Sixth Cultural and Ecotourism Symposium, Fez, Morocco, December 8-13, 2002. Royal Air Maroc is offering special airfares for ATA delegates and the Symposium's headquarters hotel will be the Sheraton Fez, located in the city center, 20 minutes from Fez Saiss International Airport.

Mr. Boumediene, prior to his appointment last March to the post of Director, Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO) for The Americas, based in New York, served as Secretary General of MNTO. Both the public and private sectors of the Tourism industry in Morocco and especially in Fez, are pleased to have this opportunity to welcome the Africa Travel Association delegates to Morocco for this Symposium. "We are all working very hard to offer delegates the best opportunities to explore in pre and post tours, the rich cultural and historic diversity of the Moroccan tourism product," said Mr. Boumedienne. He also expressed appreciation for the strong support of Royal Air Maroc.

Special Air Fares on Royal Air Maroc

As official airline for the Symposium, Royal Air Maroc will offer ATA delegates a special airfare of $309 plus tax for New York/ Casablanca return and @320 plus tax for New York/Fez return Airfares to other Moroccan destinations will be slightly more. This announcement was made by Mr. Mustapha Benkirane, Vice President Commercial and Marketing, Royal Air Maroc. Delegates must be members of ATA register for the symposium and take advantage of these special airfares.

While another highly successful ATA Ecotourism Symposium took place in Marrakech, Morocco in 1996, this is the first time ATA will hold an event in Fez, described as "the spiritual and cultural center of Morocco"

Host Country Day Tour Highlights Meknes and Volubilis
As the Kingdom's original capital (808 AD), Fez is known as "the most imperial city of them all. " Within an hour's drive are three major historic centers and tourism destinations, each one a jewel in the country's radiant crown. Fès is surrounded by lakes, the Atlas Mountains, small cities like Ifrane and Axrou, full cedars, and other rare places. The Morocco National Tourist Office will sponsor a full day tour for all ATA delegates to Meknes, an Imperial City famous for its Bab Mansour gate, the Royal Palace of Dar el Makhzen and the ruins of Dar el Kebira, with two ornate mosques and over 20 pavilions.

Other adjacent sites are the Dar el-Ma water tower and Moulay Ismail Mausoleum. Meknes is noted for its picturesque and exotic souks (markets) with colorful food displays, wood carvers, coppersmiths, potters, tanners, weavers and dyers, all offering their various arts and crafts. Close to Meknes is Volubilis, the most important Roman ruins in all of Morocco. In 1997, this rich legacy won Volubis the classification "World Heritage Site " Moulay Idriss, with its green-tiled minaret of the Khiber Medersa (Koranic school) standing guard on the hillside, is another attraction ATA delegates are sure to rave about.

ATA's 6th Cultural and Ecotourism Symposium in Fez, Morocco
The Kingdom of Morocco is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Slightly larger than California, with a similar lengthy coastline (3,500 km) and separated from Europe by the strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is one of Africa's top five travel destinations. The country has a population of over 30,600,000 ,and while Arabic is the official language, French is the language of business, government and diplomacy. Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956.

Thanks to a growing awareness of Africa's vast potential, with interest in Ecotourism at a peak worldwide, the ATA Symposium has graduated from a biannual to an annual forum. Representation comes from all parts of Africa, with many Tourism Ministers participating as well as National Parks people, educators and travel agents, group organizers from the US market who sell Africa.

"Morocco Destination Specialists"
ATA Executive Director, Mira Berman, said that this is a "wonderful opportunity for ATA members travel agents, tour operators, group organizers, meeting and conference planners to become "Morocco Destination Specialists". Delegates will be able to experience the diversity of Morocco first hand by also taking advantage of pre and post tour offering to explore the rest of this beautiful Kingdom of Morocco"

About ATA
The Africa Travel Association is an international, nonprofit, nonpolitical, professional travel industry association, whose objective is to promote tourism to Africa. Its membership is comprised of National Government Tourist Offices, hotels, airlines, ground and tours operators, travel agents, group tour leaders, marketing and media executives. ATA has chapters throughout Africa and North America; is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents of Travel Agents), WTO (World Tourism Organization), an industry partner with ARTA (Association of Retail Travel Agents), a

Founding member of IIPT's Coalition of Partners for Peace Through Tourism; and a "Green Globe" member. ATA organizes an annual international marketing conference in Africa; an annual symposium on environmental and cultural preservation; and publishes the Africa Travel Magazine and web site,

Africa Travel Association
212 447 1926, fax 212-725, 8253


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Photo Credits: Royal Air Maroc, Boeing Company