Travel Convention in Marrakech

Posted in Africa, Morocco, Viv's Travels


This year Marrakech was selected as the site of my annual American Society of Travel Agents international congress. The Tourism Office of Morocco had promised ASTA a great convention, and many of us signed up at last year’s congress in Merida. About 400 travel sellers traveled to Morocco from all over the US as well as Europe and other parts of Africa. At the trade show we met with Moroccan suppliers–tour operators, hotels and riads, destination management companies and tourism officials.

Our opening night event was a spectacular one. We were bused outside of town to what I would call an Arabian fantasy theme park/special event venue. We were treated to entertainment that included what seemed to be a cast of thousands: horses and riders in full regalia; acrobats; trick riders; thundering horses and blasts from antique firearms; musicians and dancers.

Under huge tents I sat with travel agent friends from past trips and old connections, while we were lavished with course after course of traditional Moroccan dishes: a succulent roasted lamb, followed by a delicious chicken tagine, followed by fluffy couscous and vegetables, and finally a classic Moroccan pastry desert. All the fine food was accompanied by quaffable Moroccan wines.

It was a memorable night and a grand kick-off to our convention.

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