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Educational Tours in Morocco

Changing Places: A case study of Imlil

Overview

The topic of Changing Places is covered by all specifications at A/AS level. Imlil provides an excellent case study of a place that has undergone significant change in recent years. It has transformed from a remote rural community based upon subsistence agriculture to a thriving, bustling tourist hub providing opportunities for a range of adventure activities such as trekking and mountain biking.

Tourism has increased incomes and provided employment opportunities for local people. It has resulted in improvements to the provision of services and these improvements have in turn encouraged more tourists to visit the area. Tourism is likely to increase further bringing many benefits but also creating infrastructural challenges associated with increased traffic and waste management. The need to manage tourism in the future is paramount if it is to be sustainable and continue to bring benefits to the community, its economy and the environment.

Resources

  • Resource 1:
    Download Changing Places
    This provides students with an overview, examining the changes that have taken place as Imlil has developed from a remote rural settlement with a largely subsistence economy to a thriving and bustling mountain tourist resort. The article describes the chronology of these changes and provides students with important background case study information to enable them to engage in field investigations.
  • Resource 2:
    Download Maps of Imlil
    These can be used to identify aspects of change or to plot land uses.
  • Resource 3:
    Download Rural Settlement in the High Atlas
    This is an archive article containing some field results (and land use maps of Imlil) which could provide background information for students wishing to study land use changes in the village.
  • Resource 4:
    Download Agriculture in the High Atlas
    Though not of direct relevance this article provides some useful economic background information on this rural community.
  • Resource 5:
    Download Annuaire Statistique du Tourisme 2015
    Tourism statistics (2015).

Student activities

Resource 1 is an article written in 2018 summarising the recent changes that have taken place in Imlil. This includes an updated table of service provision conducted in 2018. Additional resources include maps of the area and photographs. The following short activities can be conducted by students working in small groups as they explore the village. The village is safe to walk around, although students should be sensitive about their clothing and should take care walking along the steep paths and when crossing roads.

  1. Students could conduct their own survey of services in the village to enable them to produce an updated version of the services table in Resource 1. This essentially involves walking along the three streets that join in the centre of the village. This activity will take 1-2 hours.
  2. Whilst conducting their survey, students could look out for signs of change such as newly constructed or restored buildings, changing building use (e.g. house to guesthouse). These could be plotted on to a map (Resource 2) or recorded using an online app.
  3. Students could be encouraged to take photos or draw sketches to illustrate changes that have taken place, particularly comparing current views with archive views in the photos in the resource folder. These could be annotated.
  4. Environmental impact assessments could be conducted within the village. Students could discuss survey techniques (e.g. transect, point; random, stratified, systematic) and make use of supporting photographic evidence.
  5. Having studied the village at first hand, students could address key aspects of the specification (e.g. considering exogenous and endogenous drivers of change)
  6. Students could consider aspects of sustainability - to what extent is the village adopting sustainable principles of tourism management? Students should focus on social, economic and environmental sustainability. Interviews can be conducted with local people as well as tourists themselves (both Moroccan and international). This could form the focus for a useful debate or discussion activity in the evening … how can tourism in Imlil be managed sustainably in the future?
  • To download resources in Microsoft Word format for editing etc., please contact us via the contact page.