With thousands of tourists flocking to Chefchaouen to make the most of the Blue city’s pictorial uniqueness, some worry about the dangers of over-tourism for a small city.
Rabat – As more and more Instragram-savvy millennials travel to Chefchaouen, one of Morocco’s tourist hotspots and the world’s most “instagrammable city,” some fear that over-tourism and the insatiable pictorial greed of selfie-seeking millennials may be ruining the small city.
Chefchaouen, a city in northwest Morocco, is one of the kingdom’s most recognizable and popular destinations with tourists, with its “dazzling” blue-washed walls particularly irresistible for travelers, British newspaper the Daily Mail has reported.
“The hashtag ‘Chefchaouen’ has currently garnered over 620,000 posts on Instagram and its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down. Influencers, bloggers and backpackers all swarm on this Moroccan city on a daily basis, whatever the season, to stand on its eye-catching blue stairs,” the British outlet wrote.
With the ever expanding tourist economy around the city has come the danger of overtourism, however. The Daily Mail notes that Fodor, a travel publisher, has raised the alarm over tourists’ scramble for Chefchaouen’s Instagram-friendliness, adding the city to its list of “places ruined by Instagram.”
An earlier story of this kind, published by Business Insider in February 2019, also underlined the worry of some travel guides and bloggers about the “Blue Pearl” (as the Moroccan city is also known) being ruined by the hordes of influencers and ordinary tourists who flock to the city every year to get the most of its “Instagrammable” spots.
Critics like Fodor worry that the city’s success is set to be its peril as more and more tourists come to exploit its unimpeachably photogenic buildings and streets.
For all the apocalyptic warnings from some travel bloggers, however, a number of locals have said they are happy with their city’s surge in popularity with travelers from around the world.
Most of them are learning English to better cater to tourists’ need as they look to “cash in” to their city becoming a first-rate attraction or destination for tourists from around the world, noted the Business Insider’s story.
Youssef Khan, one of the locals who spoke to Business Insider, highlighted the fact that the city has been transformed as a result of the tourist attraction. Where critics see a future in which the city could be “ruined” by a relentless army selfie-seeking millennials, Khan emphasized a bustling local economy and the joy generated by the constant presence of foreigners in their city.