The event "Andalusia, a Euro-Mediterranean nexus Spain-Morocco", organised by the Andalusian Regional Government and Atalayar entre dos orillas, highlighted Spanish-Moroccan trade and economic relations. In this regard, emphasis was also placed on tourism, an important sector within these ties.
During the first forum of "Euro-Mediterranean Encounters", held at the Three Cultures Foundation with the collaboration of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the International Press Club and Silken Hotels, tourism cooperation between the two countries was analysed with Spanish and Moroccan members of the sector.
Pedro González, founding journalist of Euronews and Canal 24h, moderated the round table with Anouar Bennouna, vice-president of the Provincial Tourism Council of Tetouan; Moisés Hassan-Amselém, CEO Jewish Spain Morocco Tour, Miriam Filali Meknasi, director of Business Etiquette et Protocolé; and Javier García, commercial director of Al Andalus Palace Hoteles Silken.
Bennouna gave a presentation on Tetouan, one of the most important cities in northern Morocco along with Tangier. Tetouan also has a history closely linked to Spain and was home to the three Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In this regard, the vice-president of the city's Provincial Tourism Council stressed that Tetouan witnessed a peaceful coexistence between the three faiths. Proof of this are the Christian, Jewish and Muslim cemeteries still present in the city, which can be visited to see this religious harmony.
One of the great jewels of the Moroccan city is the Great Mosque, as well as the Medina, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. It also offers quality traditional crafts, rich architecture and natural landscapes. But Tetouan is not just about tourism. The Moroccan city is also ideal for foreign investment due to its infrastructure network and good transport links. The authorities are currently redeveloping the Martil river, which Bennouna says represents a great opportunity to invest in the marina. "Morocco is opening up, there are many projects. Spain should not ignore this opportunity", he concluded.
Then it was the turn of Hassan-Amselém, who is in charge of organising tourist trips for Jews from all over the world who want to get to know Morocco's Jewish heritage. During the tour, some were even able to find the house where their ancestors lived.
Hassan-Amselem highlighted the role that the Moroccan authorities are playing in preserving and promoting the country's Jewish heritage, mentioning the inauguration of houses of remembrance, as well as the restoration of old synagogues and cemeteries. In this regard, Hassan Amselem recalled that the Moroccan Constitution itself refers to the country's Jewish roots.
In addition to the role of the Kingdom, Hassan-Amselem also highlighted the signing of the Abraham Accords, a treaty by which Israel has established or resumed ties with certain Arab countries, such as Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. As the CEO of Jewish Spain Morocco Tour points out, after the signing of the so-called "Agreement of the Century", Jewish trips to Morocco have increased. "There are more groups and scheduled visits, more requests, more interest," he said.
The journalists Pedro González, moderator of the round table, and Javier Fernández Arribas, director of Atalayar, also referred to the Abraham Accords, a major step with important consequences, not only for the Middle East region, but also for the world. "In Europe, the repercussions and potential of the Abraham Accords are still unknown," said González, stressing that the possibilities for joint business are now "immense".
Miriam Filali Meknasi and Javier García closed the round table on tourism. The director of Business Etiquette et Protocolé explained some of the rules of protocol in Morocco, stressing that it is necessary to "respect, adapt and know". "Foreign people should feel at ease in our country," she added.
The commercial director of Al Andalus Palace Hoteles Silken spoke about his experience as a foreign investor in Morocco. The group currently has two projects, one in Tangier and the other in Marrakech, although its intention is to "continue opening hotels and markets". García emphasised the "opportunities" in the area, encouraging Spanish investors to "learn and enjoy the cultural and touristic richness of Morocco".