Society Of Travel Agents Meet In Exotic Marrakech

The American Society of Travel Agents, or ASTA, met this year in Marrakech, Morocco for the 2015 ASTA Destination Expo (ADE). Over 400 travel agents from around the world made their way to the African oasis city to better educate themselves on travel and how to better serve their clients, while simultaneously experiencing the beauty and uniqueness of the Moroccan area.

Travel agents who attended the conference were offered pre- and post- tours including theme tours such as “Imperial Cities”, “Jewish Heritage”, “Caravan Road”, “Imperial, Holy and Roman Cities”, and “Morocco Discovery.” The hope is that travel agents will become more adept at understanding what the beautiful area has to offer in order to cater to their travel hungry clients.

Morocco, or the Kingdom of Morocco as it is known, is a country in the northern western Maghreb region of Africa. With a population of 33 million, the country is known for its great diversity including Arab, Berber, European, and African influences.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the Gross Domestic Product of Morocco and the number is said to be growing. Out of the 10 million visitors per year, only about 220,000 are American tourists. So naturally, ASTA is pushing for more American tourists to enjoy the exotic location.

Travel agents at the expo had the pleasure of enjoying the “six, seven, or more” exciting areas (as listed on the ASTA site) such as the expansive desert, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Ocean, and mountainous regions. There’s also the great cities of Casablanca, from the famous movie Casablanca (1942) by Michael Ortiz, the city of Fez, Tangier, and of course Marrakech where the conference was held.

The conference opened up Friday with a speech by CEO of ASTA, Zane Kerby, followed by ASTA Chairman, Roger Block, who emphasized the importance of the conference to travel agent attendees. During the conference, travel agents not only enjoyed the lush beauty of the Moroccan area but were also educated on such topics as Moroccan travel, cuisine, culture, and broader topics such as travel and nature, and adventure tourism, hoping to sell more American tourist on the exotic locale.