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Hussam Hussein
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Hi and thanks for visiting my profile :) My name is Hussam, I'm a blogger-researcher-journalist, member of the European Youth Press’ Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC). I studied in Italy (Trieste/Gorizia), England (SOAS, London), and Poland (College of Europe). Academically, my background is mainly in Diplomacy and International Relations, with a focus on Environment. My interests are climate change, water, development and international cooperation.


“Come to Morocco to play golf in the desert!”

Published 27th March 2010 - 3 comments - 5281 views -

Is tourism to be seen only as a good source of income?

“Come to Morocco to play golf in the desert!”


The income of tourism, is indeed good source of income, but…

Tourism is the second strongest economic sector in Morocco, and it is indeed very well developed. However, the huge waste and consumption of water by tourists and touristic activities are becoming a problem for the whole country. In fact, the tourism, mainly focused in the desertic regions of the country, is exhausting water resources. As a matter of fact, in the summer and during the peak of tourism, the water resources and acquifers are over stressed and put under huge pressure, making them cantier.

Extra comfort touristic activities and attractions, such as golf courses, swimming pools, and aquatic centers are basic requirements of the hotels that European and American tourists usually choose in these countries. However, these comfort are some of the top consumers of water in the country.

Morocco, with an individual consumption of less than 1000 m3, is considered to be a poor country, as far as water resources is concerned. And according to the World Bank, the situation is going to be worse by 2050.

Playing golf in the desert…

A study called “Water and Tourism” conducted in the framework of MEDSTAT II programme, explores the issue of water use by tourism in some desertic countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, and some other regional countries.

Among its conclusions, this study underlined that golf courses seem to be consuming huge amounts of water in Morocco. An 18-hole golf course, for instance, consumes alone 3500 m3 of water a day, compared to the individual consumption of less than 1000 m3 a day. It is worth noting that Morocco, compared to the other countries concerned by the study, has the largest number of golf courses (17), compared to 9 in Tunisia and 1 in Jordan. Another fact is that water consumption in luxury hotels in Morocco is particularly high, according to international norms. Most of these hotels and resorts consume water from private water wells that are not necessarily subject to tariffs or control. 

It is for this reasons that I believe that it is indeed important, as Johan Knols said in his post, to advertize the beauty of Africa in supporting the tourism, but an eco-friendly tourism, or at least a responsible kind of tourism.


For more info:

Impacts of Tourism Development on Water Demand and Beach Degradation on the Island of Mallorca (Spain), Celso Garcia and Jaume Servera, Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography, Vol. 85, No. 3/4, Papers Presented: International Symposium on Land Degradation and Desertification (2003), pp. 287-300


Category: Tourism | Tags: johan knols,


  • Hussam Hussein on 27th March 2010:

    Just wanted to say that it should be seen as a follow up from the post:

  • Jodi Bush on 27th March 2010:

    You bring attention to a serious issue. I was in Morocco earlier this year and our guide was telling us about the problems caused by golf courses. I think the government (or royal family) signed contracts that make it very difficult for them to negotiate with the companies now. It was lucrative for Morocco, but also costly.

  • Hussam Hussein on 06th August 2010:

    Thanks Jodi for your comment. It is indeed a serious issue, as well as the mega swimming pools in the luxury hotels. I hope to read soon other local stories also from other part of the world linked to the impact that sometimes tourism may have on the water and other natural resources.
    Do you know any other similar situation btw?

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