From the souks of Marrakech draped eye to eye with Atlas Mountains to the sunny coastal city of Casablanca, Morocco is a favourite for backpackers, thrill seekers, foodies and luxury travellers all in one. It’s got culture, it’s got resorts, it’s got amazing food and it’s where most perfume originates.
The country has experienced a tourism boom in recent years, especially as national airline Royal Air Maroc expands across Europe and the USA. Today however, travellers are given minor pause, but pause at that. The US State Dept has raised the Morocco travel warning level, so here’s what you need to know if you’re going, or thinking about it.
First things first: don’t panic. A level 2 advisory does not mean don’t go, it does not mean you’re in grave danger and for context, Morocco is now at the same warning level as the Bahamas, Italy and the United Kingdom.
A level 2 advisory is the 2nd of four steps in the USA advisory system. The highest category means don’t travel, the third means reconsider travel, the 2nd means exercise increased caution and the 1st default level advises normal everyday caution. Morocco is now in that second group.
What This Means
According to the U.S. State Department, the advisory has been increased due to ongoing terrorism concerns in the area. North Africa is a hotbed for extremism, and migration issues from dangerous neighbouring countries may be affecting things. Here’s what the State Department advises…
If you decide to travel to Morocco:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Twitter and Facebook.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Morocco.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Basically, the United States is now saying that Morocco is as at least as dangerous as most of the countries in Europe. While we may go a step further, no one asked us. If you have travel plans there’s no reason to cancel and if you plan on making some, go for it. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and the food is to die for…