Morocco’s reputation as a safe tourist destination has recently taken a deadly blow following news of a gruesome murder, but diplomatic sources are confident the country will weather the storm.
Rabat – As fear and speculation that the tragic deaths of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco’s Imlil village will have long standing negative repercussions on Moroccan tourism, diplomatic sources are confident in the country’s ability to shed light in the murder and reassure hesitant tourists.
“Morocco is generally perceived as a safe country,” an anonymous diplomatic source told Morocco World News, suggesting that Rabat is collaborating with Copenhagen and Oslo to investigate the murders of two Danish and Norwegian tourists.
Following the murders, both Denmark and Norway warned their citizens from hiking and visiting the area alone without local guides.
“The vast majority of trips to Morocco are free of any problems, but precautions must be taken,” Norway foreign ministry said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Moroccans and Morocco-loving tourists woke up to the news of two murders in Imil near Mount Toubkal, one of Morocco’s most prized tourist destinations.
Like millions of tourists who visit Morocco yearly, 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, from Denmark, and 28-year-old Maren Ueland, from Norway, visited the region in in hopes of exploring its stunning natural beauty.
“Dear friends, [I am] going to Morocco in December. Any of you guys who’s around by then or any mountain friends who knows something about Mount Toubkal?” read one of Jespersen’s most recent Facebook posts, making it clear that the 24-year-old looked forward to making the most of her Moroccan stay.
Monday, however, the two tourists were found dead in the area where they had been seen camping.
Fear and apprehension quickly soared as major news outlets reported on the unfortunate incident. Danish and Norwegian outlets even reported that the two young women had defied their loved ones’ warnings about their planned trip to Morocco. The families reportedly had doubts about security in Morocco and did not want them to travel there.
Although other tourists have since spoken of Morocco as a safe holiday destination country, the harm has been done and fear appeared to have taken deep roots.
For all the fear surrounding the incident, the Moroccan diplomatic source told Morocco World News that Rabat has received guarantees from representatives of the two Scandinavian countries about their readiness to cooperate on the dossier.
He said authorities from the two concerned countries reiterated their faith in Morocco’s security. “Danish diplomats have reassured us that they believe Morocco is a safe country and that no Danish national has experienced problems while in Morocco” prior to this week’s tragic incident.
Moroccans and foreign nationals have been equally appalled by the murder, and police have, so far, arrested three suspects. Further investigations are being conducted to shed more light on the murders, the source said.