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Tourism in Marrakesh dropping

With its labyrinthine souks, palm-fringed palaces and Islamic heritage, Marrakesh has developed over the years as a chic tourist destination, drawing in the world's rich and famous.

Tourism in Marrakesh dropping
Last Update: 22 September 2012, 11:20

With its labyrinthine souks, palm-fringed palaces and Islamic heritage, Marrakesh has developed over the years as a chic tourist destination, drawing in the world's rich and famous.

But 18 months after a terrorist attack struck at the heart of Morocco's ochre city, the number of visitors continues to fall.

Down a narrow alleyway in a hidden corner of the medina, Riad Karmela is one of many exquisitely restored houses in the old city whose leafy courtyards, dripping pools and roof terraces offer luxurious relaxation in the fabled former capital.

"Business has been going down every year since we opened in 2006," says Joel Castrec, the French owner, who moved to Marrakesh after running hotels in Paris and London.

"There were simply too many raids. Many people were opening four or five bedroom guest houses. But I'd say most of them didn't know what they were doing. Then we had the economic crisis and the attack last year," he adds.

Tandempost, Yaser Yahia





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