Vacationland: A closer look into Morocco’s sex tourism industry

Savin Mattozzi, SIT Graduate Institute - Study Abroad

Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

The Pitch

Last November, The Moroccan Minister of Tourism told CNN Arabic that he was in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality and sex outside of marriage in the predominantly Muslim, North African country. While the country’s laws are still conservative, the government turns a blind eye to sex tourism that generates high revenues. According to the World Tourism Organization, globally, it generates between 80 and 100 billion dollars every year. In Morocco, experts like Professor Abdessamad Dialmy, who specializes in sexuality research, believe that it is an informal response to high unemployment that’s over 49% for people between the ages of 15 and 29. In Marrakesh, young people like Sara support their families by doing sex work, putting themselves at risk as they are breaking the law.