The Commodification and Exoticization of Morocco: Tourism’s Impact on the Weaving and Argan Oil Industries

Isabella Mancini, SIT Study Abroad

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


The Moroccan government has steadily focused its attention through governmental projects and marketing strategies on tourism, as tourism in Morocco grew 11% from 2017 to 2018 (“Tourism Statistics in Morocco,” 2018). Through the Vision 2020 plan, the Moroccan government plans to attract over 1 million tourists by the year of 2020 to what it describes as its emerging markets, which is expected to raise the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2%, all of which has a significant impact on traditional sectors of production (“Vision 2020,” 2017). This research will focus exclusively on argan and weaving production, as these sectors have also seen an external influence from foreign ownership, corporation investment, and increased exportation of weaving and argan products. Both argan and weaving production have distinctively traditional methods of production that have originated with Amazigh people in Morocco. This research aims to focus on the interactions, experiences, and beliefs of those who are directly involved in the production process of argan and weaving products and discovers how tourism impacts the livelihood and wellbeing of those living in Morocco.